Published 04/20 2014 11:40PM

Updated 04/23 2014 06:19PM

Green Bay (WFRV)  Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a chronic pain condition that occurs usually after an injury or trauma. It can be severely painful and debilitating.


Doctors are not sure what causes some people to develop CRPS, while others with similar traumas do not.  In more than 90-percent of cases it is caused by an injury like a fracture or  minor surgery.


Michelle Schrader has gone to therapy for most of the past two and a half years.


"I couldn't  touch my finger tips to one another.  I couldn't move it. There was no movement  what so ever," explained Michelle Schrader, complex regional pain syndrome sufferer.


It all began when Michelle tripped and tore a ligament and cartilage in her hand. 


"I had surgery to have that repaired," said Michelle.


After surgery her situation got worse. Michelle was having severe pain, she couldn't move her hand or wrist and more, " My had was three times the size it is now.  It was purple and very shiny and I had hair all over my hand," explained Michelle.


 It was affecting her life as a mother.  She eventually had to quit her job.


Michelle  went to Dr. Ahmet Dervish at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.  Dr. Dervish is an Interventional Pain Physician and knew right away it was complex regional pain syndrome.


"We don't know the exact underlying reason but, what we do know is there is a malfunction of the nervous system," explained Dr. Ahmet Dervish, Interventional Pain Physician, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.


CRPS  causes pain out of proportion to the injury or surgery.  Even a simple touch can cause severe pain.


 Plus it causes physical changes.  "Skin, hair growth changes, nail changes are all a part of the blood flow issues to the extremities," said Dr. Dervish.


Michelle began intensive therapy.


"We feel that by moving the extremity, we are trying to desensitize the nervous system," said Dr. Dervish.


Michelle also had Sympathetic Nerve Blocks to help ease the pain while in therapy .


"By providing the block we create the opportunity to do more physical therapy and release that stiffness and hopefully regain the range of motion," said Dr. Dervish.


The blocks and rehab have made a big difference in Michelle's life.  She is still in a lot of pain but her hand looks normal and "I can move, I can do things," said Michelle.


For some, CRPS can last days, weeks months even a lifetime. There is no diagnostic test to confirm the condition, it is diagnosed by its symptoms and the patients history.

To learn more you can call Aurora BayCare at 866-938-0035 or email <

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