Diagnosis: Sudeck’s Atrophy (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome)

Findings: Adult female presented for follow-up of distal radial injury found to have multiple areas of marked periarticular osteopenia.

Key Points: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS) is relatively common and has been reported to occur after 5% of all traumatic injuries. It may occur following fractures to the extremities, joint sprains or following surgery. It has also been reported following immobilization and frostbite. It is thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system, which is involved in the regulation of blood supply to the affected part. The condition is often not diagnosed until sometime after the initial symptoms begin.

Credit: Case submitted by Dr. Wael Nemattalla MD to radRounds Radiology Network