Complex regional pain syndrome type i. An analysis of 7 cases in children

Neurologia. 2015 Jul-Aug;30(6):347-51. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2013.12.016. Epub 2014 Jun 18.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is characterised by the presence of pain accompanied by sensory, autonomic and motor symptoms, usually preceded by a lesion or immobilisation. The clinical course is disproportionate to the initial injury in intensity and in duration. Its distribution is regional, predominantly in limbs. It is classified as type I and type II according to the absence or presence of nerve injury.

Cases: We present the cases of seven children, 6 girls and 1 boy, aged 7 to 15 years. Three had a history of previous trauma. In 5 cases, the symptoms were located in the lower limbs. Time to diagnosis was between 4 and 90 days. Three patients had clinical features of anxiety and depression. Imaging and immunological studies were performed to rule out differential diagnoses in all the children. Interdisciplinary treatment was performed with physiotherapy, psychotherapy, and gabapentin or pregabalin. All patients had a good clinical outcome, with no relapses in the follow-up period (between 4 and 30 months).

Conclusions: CRPS is frequently unrecognised in children, leading to family anxiety and unnecessary para-clinical costs. Paediatricians and paediatric neurologists should be aware of this syndrome in order to avoid delay in diagnosis, unnecessary studies, and multiple visits to specialists, with a view to providing effective treatment.

Keywords: Analgesia; Children; Complex regional pain syndrome; Dolor; Dolor neuropático; Fisioterapia; Infantil; Neuropathic pain; Pain; Physiotherapy; Síndrome doloroso regional complejo.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amines / therapeutic use
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes / drug therapy
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes / therapy
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Gabapentin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Pregabalin / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / therapeutic use


  • Amines
  • Analgesics
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • Pregabalin
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Gabapentin