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Over the past 150 years, regional post-traumatic pain has had various appellations, most recently complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and post-traumatic neuralgia (PTN). CPRS appears to be a complex endophenotype of PTN that involves neurogenic inflammation as well as pain. There is increasing evidence that peripheral and central inflammatory cascades triggered by nerve injuries contribute to CRPS and perhaps PTN as well. PTN and CRPS often spread beyond classic individual nerve territories, although when patients are asked to outline the epicenter, or most abnormal area, this frequently identifies a specific nerve injury. The most dramatic CRPS and PTN-associated movement abnormality is fixed distal dystonia. Nerve conduction studies and electromyography are useful in documenting and localizing peripheral nerve damage. Currently, four classes of medications are primary options for chronic CRPS/PTN: tricyclics and serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors; opioids; gabapentinoids; and topical or systemic local anesthetics.
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