Complex regional pain syndrome: Practical diagnostic and treatment guidelines, 4th edition

R. Norman Harden*, Ann Louise Oaklander, Allen W. Burton, Roberto S.G.M. Perez, Kathryn Richardson, Melanie Swan, Jennifer Barthel, Brienne Costa, Joseph R. Graciosa, Stephen Bruehl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

381 Scopus citations


Objective: This is the fourth edition of diagnostic and treatment guidelines for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS; aka reflex sympathetic dystrophy). Methods: Expert practitioners in each discipline traditionally utilized in the treatment of CRPS systematically reviewed the available and relevant literature; due to the paucity of levels 1 and 2 studies, less rigorous, preliminary research reports were included. The literature review was supplemented with knowledge gained from extensive empirical clinical experience, particularly in areas where high-quality evidence to guide therapy is lacking. Results: The research quality, clinical relevance, and "state of the art" of diagnostic criteria or treatment modalities are discussed, sometimes in considerable detail with an eye to the expert practitioner in each therapeutic area. Levels of evidence are mentioned when available, so that the practitioner can better assess and analyze the modality under discussion, and if desired, to personally consider the citations. Tables provide details on characteristics of studies in different subject domains described in the literature. Conclusions: In the humanitarian spirit of making the most of all current thinking in the area, balanced by a careful case-by-case analysis of the risk/cost vs benefit analysis, the authors offer these "practical" guidelines. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-229
Number of pages50
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Diagnosis
  • Guidelines
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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