Dolor Regional Complejo de la Extremidad Superior y Accidentes del Trabajo
M Policarpo Rebolledo,C Alberto Pérez,R Natalia Clavijo
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Fortnightly Review: Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy indicates the syndrome of a painful, swollen, discoloured, abnormally sensitive, and useless extremity, usually developing after trauma, and first described as a complication of gunshot wounds in the American Civil War.1 Even after 130 years, we still cannot agree what to call it, do not understand what causes it, and do not know how best to treat it. The term reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or the reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, seems to be preferred by those writing in English, algodystrophy by those writing in French, and Sudeck's atrophy by those writing in German or referring to a late atrophic phase of the condition. Definitions and clinical criteria abound.2 The International Association for the Study of Pain produced the following definition: “continuous pain in a portion of an extremity after trauma which may include fracture but does not involve a major nerve, associated with sympathetic hyperactivity.”3 Kozin, whose criteria for diagnosis are most widely quoted, considered it essential to recognise that pain may be the only manifestation of the reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome and also included patients with vasomotor or sudomotor changes without pain or tenderness as possibly having the syndrome.4 The consensus report of an ad hoc committee of the American Association for Hand Surgery considered that the term reflex sympathetic dystrophy was used too loosely to be valuable and errors of under and over diagnosis occurred.5 It agreed on the following definition: a pain syndrome in which the pain is accompanied by loss of function and evidence of autonomic dysfunction (figs 1-3). FIG 1 Reflex sympathetic dystrophy of the right hand after a fall, with no bony injury. The affected hand is discoloured and the fingers are swollen FIG 2 Reflex sympathetic dystrophy of the right foot occurring spontaneously in pregnancy. The patient responded to guanethidine …
Cited 108 times
Psychological dysfunction in patients with reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Patients with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) often present with pain and disability that cannot be explained on the basis of objective physical findings. This has led some to speculate that RSD may be caused or mediated by non-organic factors. Unfortunately, there have been few studies using standardized measures of mood and illness behavior that have compared patients with RSD to patients with other chronic pain disorders. The goal of the present study, therefore, was to compare the pattern of psychological dysfunction in patients with RSD to the pattern of dysfunction in patients with chronic back pain and local neuropathic pain. Patients with back pain resemble those with RSD in that both may report symptoms that cannot be reconciled with objective physical findings. Patients with local neuropathy, by contrast, report pain that is both circumscribed and consistent with a known organic cause. The records of 253 patients attending a tertiary pain service were retrospectively reviewed and three distinct (non-overlapping) diagnostic groups were formed: 25 were assigned to the RSD group; 44 to the back pain group; and 21 to the local neuropathy group. Using a set of stringent criteria to diagnose RSD and an analysis of covariance to control for differences in symptom duration and age, the present study found no evidence to suggest that patients with RSD were psychologically unique. Instead, RSD patients were remarkably similar to those with local neuropathy in terms of their symptom reporting, illness behavior, and psychological distress. The only exception was that RSD patients had more disability days during the preceding 6 months than those with local neuropathy (P < 0.05). The back pain group, on the other hand, presented with more diffuse pain complaints (P < 0.05) and had a greater number of non-specific medical symptoms (P < 0.05) compared to either the RSD or local neuropathy group. In contrast to previous research using less stringent diagnostic criteria, there was no evidence of higher pain scores or lower levels of psychological distress among patients with RSD. In addition, a validated survey of childhood trauma found that sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and cumulative trauma were evenly distributed among all three diagnostic groups. The burden of proof would appear to be upon those who advocate the non-organic hypothesis to provide credible evidence of psychological involvement in the etiology of RSD.
Cited 39 times
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Cited 314 times
Epidemiology of complex regional pain syndrome: a retrospective chart review of 134 patients
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) remains a poorly understood chronic pain disorder. Little data has been published assessing the epidemiology of CRPS (and reflex sympathetic dystrophy, RSD). This study assessed epidemiological variables in 134 CRPS patients evaluated at a tertiary chronic pain clinic in the US, including demographic, health care utilization and legal/workman's compensation measures. In addition, the frequency of physician-imposed immobilization of the CRPS limb was assessed, as was physical examination evidence of myofascial dysfunction. This study found that these patients had seen on average 4.8 different physicians before referral to the pain center and had received an average of five different kinds of treatments both prior to and during pain clinic treatment. The mean duration of CRPS symptoms prior to pain center evaluation was 30 months. Seventeen percent had a lawsuit and 54% had a worker compensation claim related to the CRPS. Fifty-one patients received a bone scan, but only 53% of which were interpreted as consistent with the diagnosis of RSD/CRPS. Forty-seven percent had a history of physician-imposed immobilization, and 56% had a myofascial component present at evaluation. The duration of CRPS symptoms and the involvement of the upper extremity was significantly associated with the presence of myofascial dysfunction. Thus, this study found that most CRPS patients are referred to a pain specialty clinic after several years of symptoms and many failed therapies. The data also suggest the lack of utility of a diagnostic bone scan and highlight the prominence of myofascial dysfunction in a majority of CRPS patients.
Cited 26 times
Complex regional pain syndrome
This paper provides a review of the current concepts of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and current diagnostic criteria are presented. Etiology and pathophysiological mechanisms of painful disorders, previously addressed as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) remain doubtful.The supposition of a sympathetic hyperactivity in the development of this syndrome could not be confirmed. Up to now no diagnostic test that would be specific for the diagnosis of CRPS is available. The diagnosis relies on clinical findings and the exclusion of conditions that could account for the degree of pain and dysfunction. Pain relief and functional restoration are the primary goals of all therapeutic intervention and should start as early as possible.
Cited 435 times
Chronic pain patients are impaired on an emotional decision-making task
Chronic pain can result in anxiety, depression and reduced quality of life. However, its effects on cognitive abilities have remained unclear although many studies attempted to psychologically profile chronic pain. We hypothesized that performance on an emotional decision-making task may be impaired in chronic pain since human brain imaging studies show that brain regions critical for this ability are also involved in chronic pain. Chronic back pain (CBP) patients, chronic complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) patients, and normal volunteers (matched for age, sex, and education) were studied on the Iowa Gambling Task, a card game developed to study emotional decision-making. Outcomes on the gambling task were contrasted to performance on other cognitive tasks. The net number of choices made from advantageous decks after subtracting choices made from disadvantageous decks on average was 22.6 in normal subjects (n = 26), 13.4 in CBP patients (n = 26), and -9.5 in CRPS patients (n = 12), indicating poor performance in the patient groups as compared to the normal controls (P < 0.004). Only pain intensity assessed during the gambling task was correlated with task outcome and only in CBP patients (r = -0.75, P < 0.003). Other cognitive abilities, such as attention, short-term memory, and general intelligence tested normal in the chronic pain patients. Our evidence indicates that chronic pain is associated with a specific cognitive deficit, which may impact everyday behavior especially in risky, emotionally laden, situations.
Cited 39 times
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy--a complex regional pain syndrome
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is a complex and poorly-understood condition characterized by: (a) pain and altered sensation; (b) motor disturbance and soft tissue change; (c) vasomotor and autonomic changes; and (d) psychosocial disturbance. Neurological symptoms typically do not conform to any particular pattern of nerve damage. Many different names have been ascribed to this condition and most recently the term 'complex regional pain syndrome' has been coined to emphasize the complex interaction of somatic, psychological and behavioural factors. Diagnostic criteria have been proposed by the International Association for the Study of Pain, but are still subject to debate. This review article describes the clinical features which may present as part of the condition, and the patho-physiology and pre-disposing factors so far identified. The evidence for effectiveness of different interventions is presented and a treatment approach outlined for inter-disciplinary management. While RSD is traditionally associated with pain in the extremities, the possibility is raised that the same process may underlie chronic pain syndromes affecting more central structures, such as testicular or pelvic pain.
Cited 201 times
Causalgia and Other Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophies
Proper diagnosis and therapy are critical in the reflex sympathetic dystrophies and demand a thorough knowledge of clinical manifestations, physiopathology, and treatment. As soon as symptoms appear, specific treatment should be directed toward relief of pain, the most prominent characteristic feature.
“Dolor Regional Complejo de la Extremidad Superior y Accidentes del Trabajo” is a paper by M Policarpo Rebolledo C Alberto Pérez R Natalia Clavijo published in 2006.You can read and download a PDF Full Text of this paper here.