Algodystrophy: the causes

Algodystrophies (or complex regional pain syndrome) are disorders of the bones and joints that affect:

  • wrist, hand, shoulder or foot,
  • more rarely the hip, elbow and knee.

The true causes of dystrophy are not yet known .

There is a "hyper-reaction" of the nervous system (called sympathetic) often related to a bone or joint trauma, or to an operation of the bones, joints. The nerve fibers involved in this phenomenon are nociceptic fibers (type C). This is combined with vasomotor phenomena affecting the microcirculation.

Thus, in the case of algodystrophy, there is locally a dilation of many arteriocapital units, especially at the beginning when inflammatory signs occur.

A metabolic disease, such as diabetes, or thyroid disease, may also promote RSDS.

In any case, RSD is unfortunately a fairly common condition, and people who have suffered from it know that it is difficult to solve.

ALS appears most often (65% of cases) because of trauma, severe or benign: fracture, dislocation, sprain, simple contusion.

It can also occur after any surgery after trauma, or to correct joint deformities (20% of cases), or as a result of prolonged immobilization of a limb in a cast.

But other times, it is difficult to find the precise cause.

Other factors favor the disease, but not the cause:

  • Circulatory problems (phlebitis),
  • Some conditions, such as diabetes,
  • Disorders of the central nervous system (hemiplegia, brain tumor), or peripheral (sciatica, shingles ...),
  • Myocardial infarction,
  • Pregnancy can cause hip dystrophy during the third trimester
  • Taking certain medications (such as barbiturates for anti-epileptic treatment),
  • An anxious or depressed state.

It is most often a specialist physician in functional rehabilitation or a rheumatologist who supports the patient suffering from this condition. One can also consult the orthopedic surgeon who operated, or who treated the bone or articular traumatism (if the algodystrophy occurred in such a context).

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