A diagnosis is based on a few variables; a person’s medical history, physical symptoms,and medical diagnostics.
Using Budapest Criteria, as a diagnosis of CRPS, a patient must have at least one symptom in three of the following four categories: Sensory: an abnormal increase in sensitivity (hyperesthesia) and/or allodynia Vasomotor: skin color changes or temperature and/or skin color changes between the limbs Sudomotor: swelling (edema) and/or sweating differences between the limbs; Motor: decreased range of motion and/or motor dysfunction, tremors/ muscular spasms (dystonia) and/or trophic changes (changes to hair/nails and/or skin).
At the examination, at least one sign must be present in two or more of the following categories: Sensory: hyperalgesia (to pinprick) and/or allodynia, deep somatic (physical) pressure Vasomotor: temperature differences between the limb and/or skin color changes and/or skin color changes between the limb; Sudomotor: edema and/or sweating changes and/or sweating differences between the limbs; Motor/trophic: decreased range of motion and/or motor dysfunction (i.e. weakness, tremor or muscle spasm) and/or trophic changes
The Budapest Criteria, can help doctors evaluate if a patient has Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
One of the most useful tests in diagnosing CRPS is thermography. Thermography is a visual mapping of the skin. A person’s skin temperature is controlled by their sympathetic nervous system. Thermography can show temperature differences down to 1/10th of one degree centigrade. If there is a difference one degree centigrade from one limb to the other, that would mean the sympathetic nervous system was malfunctioning – hence a diagnosis of CRPS.
• Testing may also be used to help rule out other conditions, such as arthritis, Lyme disease, arthritis, etc.