CRPS without pain?

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 I had wrist surgery six months ago and almost immediately develop CRPS symptoms. I had abnormal swelling, abnormal sweating in the affected wrist,  abnormal hand color and stiffness.  My doctor diagnosed my condition as CR PS. I have lost the swelling but the other symptoms prevail. I do not have any pain associated with my condition.  has anyone heard of having CRPS without any pain? 

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11 Replies

  • Posted


    I have never heard of CRPS without pain. But count your blessings! I have it in my foot and leg. The pain is horrendous!!!!!!

    I was on crutches for a year. I couldn't walk because of the pain.

    I have been walking without crutches for a year now. My pain is much better with under control.

    Do NOT use ice, compression or elevation to try to control the swelling!!!!!!!!!! These things will only cause further damage. They prevent healing oxygen and nutrients (blood) from getting to the damaged area.

    Keep the wrist and hand moving. Even though it is stiff, use gentle motion & exercises.

    Conventional physical therapy is NOT good for CRPS. I know, conventional physical therapy spread the CRPS from my foot up my leg.

    If you cannot find a physical therapist who ABSOLUTELY knows how to treat CRPS, look up on the internet "exercises for CRPS in the wrist".

    Keep in touch and let us know how you do.

    Take care of yourself.


  • Posted

    Hi David80207,

    Here is the criteria for diagnosing CRPS .

    The Budapest Criteria should now be used to diagnose Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS):

    A: The patient has continuing pain which is disproportionate to the inciting event

    B: The patient has at least one sign in two or more of the categories

    C: The patient reports at least one symptom in three or more of the categories

    D: No other diagnosis can better explain the signs and symptoms

    Sensory: Allodynia (to light touch and/or temperature sensation and/or deep somatic pressure and/or joint movement) and/or hyperalgesia (to pinprick)

    Vasomotor: Temperature asymmetry (more than 1 deg.) and/or skin colour changes and/or skin colour asymmetry

    Sudomotor/oedema: Oedema and/or sweating changes and/or sweating asymmetry

    Motor/trophic: Decreased range of motion and/or motor dysfunction (weakness, tremor, dystonia) and/or trophic changes (hair/nail/skin)

    As you see on this list, disproportionate pain is #1. I think your Dr may have misdiagnosed you. I think I'd seek out a second opinion if I were you.

    Be blessed in the mess,


  • Posted

    Hi, your Dr is wrong. CRPS is a pain syndrome, in all cases there is chronic pain. On a scale from 1-10 the pain is usually above 5 with flairs as high as 9-10. I have had this for years and without pain meds and a strong will I would not be able to live. You should get another opinion.
  • Posted

    Hi David

    Yes -I broke my wrist in August and have all the symptoms without the pain.  I did have pain for about

    4 weeks after the caste was removed.  My hand and wrist is slow to heal and both still very stiff.

    I have also now have a  frozen shoulder so hoping this is not crps spreading.....get to hear

    someone else  has no pain-we are the lucky ones it seems.


    • Posted

      Out of curiosity, what does the doctor have you doing to get better. I got a second opinion at a neurologist and was told I have local nerve damage and a little CRPS. He had me take gabapentin which did not help and now he has me on duloetine. We shall see. The strength has improved some but it is still stiff.
    • Posted

      I have very similar conditions to yours and was curious how you were doing after some time to heal. I had my surgery just over a year now and have gained strength but still have the stiffness. Duloxetine did help some but I couldn't handle the side effects. I stretch my wrist all day long and hope it continues to improve. Let me know how your wrist is doing. Thanks

  • Posted

    Hi David

    I mentioned to my doctor that the physio said I had CRPS and he had never heard of it!  My next physio

    confirmed again I had CRPS even though he was a little baffled as to the no pain.  He said I had nerve

    damage.  There seems to be so many conflicting views on CRPS.  I am feeling quite confused.

    I am only taking panadol as needed.  I think the CRPS has slowed down recovery as my hand is still

    wooden and has a dull ache and spasms a few times a day.  I feel very fatigued even though I am no

    doing much and forgetful which is not usually the case.  I hope you make a full recovery and thanks for your reply

    it was helpful.


  • Posted

    I fractured my ulna and was going for therapy when the therapist said that my pain was caused by CRPS.  It was a long road but I’m doing better.  I had 8 surgeries 

      5 nerve blocks and 10 ketamine infusions.  Wishing you relief.

    • Posted

      Hi Brenda,

      Ketamine has been documented as quite helpful in young patients, but if the disease has persisted for more than a year it is much less effective and doesn't seem to work nearly as well in mature patients. Has something to do with the maturation of the nervous system I believe. A dear friend was pushed into ketamine treatment (age 58) without her consent. The doctor refused to continue her necessary pain medication unless she tried it.

      After a week in the hospital, where she was poorly treated by staff (ignoring her call button & requests to speak to the physician) she was discharged in the care of her daughter who continued treating her as if she was no longer competent to manage her affairs, This is a wonderful woman who has suffered with CRPS/RSD for more than 20 years & raised 4 children on her own while working as an RN. She now has after effects from the Ketamine in addition to the RSD & associated diseases.

      The worst of them being intense and terrifying dreams and a worsening of all her health issues. I really admire her dedication, as she is the primary caretaker for most of her grandchildren, I hope that when they mature they remember that "Nana" was always there for them... unlike her three daughters who abuse her generosity and generally disrespect her.

      If someone is young & fit besides the RSD symptoms... they mat benefit from a Ketamine "Coma" type treatment during early stage disease. Otherwise the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are already "rewired" and nothing in current medical science can effect a "cure"

      Please be very wary of physicians who want to experiment with your body and this powerful drug.




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