Complex regional pain syndrome in children: a systematic review of clinical features and movement disorders

Pain Manag. 2017 Mar;7(2):133-140. doi: 10.2217/pmt-2016-0036. Epub 2017 Feb 1.


Aim: To ascertain clinical features of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) in children with a focus on movement disorders.

Methods: all publications with original data on children with CRPS were assessed. Data were tabulated and descriptive statistics were applied.

Results: One population-based study and nine clinic-based studies provided data on demographic and clinical characteristics of childhood CRPS. Mean age of onset was 12.5 years and 85% of patients were females (risk ratio: 1.70; 95% CI: 1.54-1.88). History of trauma in 71% and the lower limbs were affected in 75% of patients. A secondary site involvement was present in 15%. Movement disorders and dystonia were reported in 30% of children.

Conclusion: Majority of cases of CRPS in children are females with mean age of 12.5 years. Movement disorders (mainly dystonia) affect at least one in three children with CRPS.

Keywords: children and adolescents; complex regional pain syndrome; dystonia.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes / complications
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement Disorders / complications
  • Movement Disorders / diagnosis
  • Movement Disorders / epidemiology*