Center for Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome

Diagnosing Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome

How is amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome diagnosed?

At times, the part of the body with amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome will become cold, blue or purple and even swollen due to the decreased blood flow. Although there is no test specific for AMPS, sometimes X-ray studies show osteoporosis, a bone scan may show decreased blood flow, and an MRI can show bone or soft tissue swelling (edema) and muscle wasting (atrophy). Rarely, the skin will become thick and waxy (dystrophic), a characteristic that gives reflex sympathetic dystrophy part of its name.

Are there any laboratory tests to prove it is AMPS?

No. Blood tests are normal unless there are other conditions present (for example, an infection can alter the blood counts and sedimentation rate). In some children, a bone scan or MRI can show abnormalities that are very suggestive of amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome, but the results may be normal.

Why does it take so long to diagnose AMPS?

Early diagnosis may be difficult for several reasons:


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