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The term algodystrophy is synonymous with algoneurodystrophy, or complex regional pain syndrome. It is an unpredictable and fearsome complication. It manifests itself in pain that does not respond to the usual painkillers, and stiffness.

There are no known causes to date, and it can occur regardless of the trauma. It will be confirmed by a scintigraphy, and the algodystrophy can last 12 to 18 months. In a warm phase or a pain that does not respond well to conventional painkillers, follows a cold phase dominated by stiffness. A complete remission will typically be observed “overnight”.

Its prevention relies on the administration of vitamin C for one month after trauma, or surgery. In case of suspicion, Scottish baths will be tried (5minutes in a basin of cold water then 5 minutes in a basin of warm water, alternated 3 times), and patches of anesthesia of long duration of action. The algodystrophy imposes during the warm phase, rest and stop rehabilitation.

Your surgeon can address you as a last resort, to a pain center.