Default disease illustration

Complex regional pain syndrome I of upper limb Save

ICD-10 code: G90.51

Chapter: Diseases of the nervous system

Understanding Complex Regional Pain Syndrome I of Upper Limb

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome I of Upper Limb (CRPS I) is a chronic pain condition that affects the upper limb, which includes the arm, hand, fingers, and shoulder. It is also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) or Sudeck's atrophy.

The condition is characterized by a variety of symptoms such as pain, swelling, stiffness, and changes in skin temperature and color. These symptoms can be triggered by an injury, surgery, or even a minor trauma to the affected limb.

Symptoms of CRPS I of Upper Limb

The symptoms of CRPS I of upper limb can vary from person to person. Some of the common symptoms include:

  1. Persistent pain that is often described as burning, throbbing or shooting
  2. Swelling and stiffness in the affected limb
  3. Changes in skin temperature and color
  4. Abnormal sweating in the affected area
  5. Increased sensitivity to touch or cold
  6. Weakness and muscle atrophy
Treatment Options for CRPS I of Upper Limb

There is no cure for CRPS I of upper limb, but there are several treatment options available that can help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life. Some of the common treatment options include:

  1. Physical therapy and occupational therapy
  2. Pain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or opioids
  3. Topical creams or patches that contain lidocaine or capsaicin
  4. Sympathetic nerve blocks or spinal cord stimulation

It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of the symptoms of CRPS I of upper limb. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the progression of the condition and improve the chances of a successful outcome.


CRPS I of upper limb is a chronic pain condition that can significantly impact the quality of life of those affected. Understanding the symptoms and treatment options can help individuals manage the condition and improve their overall well-being.