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Objective assessment of clinical features and level of impairment in patients suffering from Complex Regional Syndrome: a review

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The diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is made on clinical grounds, based on the presence of several symptoms and signs that are relatively easy to find when recording the patient’s history and in the clinical examination. It is not as easy, however, to quantify these features. Maintaining objectivity is desired in clinical practice, and is particularly important in research studies. Complex regional pain syndrome causes a functional impairment of the affected extremities and limits daily living activity in the patients. An objective measurement of these limitations is also desired. In this paper we present methods used in contemporary research on CRPS, attempting to objectivize features that are primarily subjective, such as pain and level of impairment. The methods of assessment of these variables are useful in studies on the impact of the disease on patient functioning in daily living. They are also important in a complex assessment of the results of treatment of the condition.

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Medicine, Basic Medical Science, other, Clinical Medicine, Surgery, Public Health