Research Article

Muscle spasms associated with Sudeck's atrophy after injury.

BMJ 1984; 288 doi: (Published 21 January 1984) Cite this as: BMJ 1984;288:173
  1. C D Marsden,
  2. J A Obeso,
  3. M M Traub,
  4. J C Rothwell,
  5. H Kranz,
  6. F La Cruz


    Four patients developed abnormal involuntary movements of a limb after injury. All subsequently developed sympathetic algodystrophy with Sudeck's atrophy and then abnormal muscle spasms or jerks of the affected limb, lasting years. Sympathetic block in three patients did not relieve the abnormal movements. Two patients obtained partial recovery spontaneously, but the other two required surgery for relief. The pathophysiology of this condition remains to be determined but the evidence suggests that it is a distinct, disabling clinical syndrome.