Casting Without Fracture Can Initiate CRPS in Animals – Cause of CRPS

CRPS is induced by a constriction event like a too tight cast.  Capillaries in affected area collapse and develop endothelial protrusions that do not allow red blood cells through.  Pro-inflammatory cytokines likie Interleukin – 6 and TNF alpha are increased. Irritating Free radicals become rampant, venules leak, arterioles spasm and compartment pressures increase. The peripheral nervous system becomes a player and “global autonomic dysfunction” occurs. A small fiber neuropathy becomes evident.

Obvious thoughts:
1) Don’t put the cast on too tight and consider just a back slab for certain injuries. Now they have plastic boots that can be worn as well.

2) Take Vitamin C 500 mg twice daily as it cuts rates of CRPS in half or more.

3) Treat any compartment syndrome where the tissues are so tight they compress a compartment – often in leg

Another fix for an actual event in a child was the use of Lidocaine patches.

IASP poster PH 421, Montreal 2010
A. K. Bhaskar1, R. B. Dalal2, D. P. McDowell3, S. White

  • 12 year old casted for achilles tendonitis
  • After skin was mottled and overly painful. MRI showed bone marrow edema.
  • When lidocaine 5% patches were on, mottling would be better and pain improved. After 4 weeks patches, child was better.

Comment – nice story – I would have started steroid Prednisone as well.

You can make you own lidocaine patches:
Making Your Own Lidocaine Patches

Adding credibility to constriction theory is the fact is animals, being casted, can develop CRPS without any fracture. being present…

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