Background: Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS; formerly known as Morbus Sudeck/reflex dystrophy) is diagnosed in children and adolescents, but the clinical presentation is often atypical. Unfortunately, potentially harmful, invasive treatments are used in pediatric patients.
Patients and methods: A retrospective chart study of pediatric chronic pain patients with CRPS was performed.
Results: Over the course of 6 years, 37 (35 girls) children and adolescents took part in a multidisciplinary chronic pain inpatient program. At admission, patients took on average 4.4 (range 1-10) different medications and 29 different pharmaceuticals were used overall. Prior to admission, invasive pain treatments were performed without success in 16 of the children (43%). At least 13 children received two or more invasive treatments. Although sympathetic blocks were most prevalent, operations and regional anesthesia were also used.
Conclusion: Despite a lack of evidence for invasive procedures, these continue to be used in children and adolescents with CRPS, who later respond positively to conventional treatment. The English full-text version of this article is available at SpringerLink (under "Supplemental").