The Outcome of the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

The ‘Outcome of the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome‘ is another important paper by Marissa de Mos – she and her team really are making some important contributions to the CRPS knowledge base.  They got a list of people who had been diagnosed with CRPS, got in touch and then assessed all those who agreed to participate (Total number=259, contactable=216, consented=134 (no major differences between consenters and non-consenters, at least 2 years since onset (mean=5.8 years)). There is a large amount of useful info in this paper, but I thought it worth noting these things in particular: 64% still had CRPS; 16% said they were still getting worse, 31% were unable to work at all, 73% had given up trying to find treatments.  One might say that the participants were only half of the original sample, which means the actual numbers might be far less confronting, but they may not be and they might be worse – we don’t know.  At the moment this study represents, I reckon, the best evidence we have of what happens to people with CRPS. That 2 in 3 of them still have CRPS 5.8 years later is clearly not a very good situation. Congratulations to the Dutch (again!) who continue to be at the forefront of the global quest to solve this problem of CRPS. Well done!

Clinical journal of pain can be hard to get a hold of, but email Marissa if you want a copy of this article (Clinical Journal of Pain 25, 7 590-597) – m.vrolijk-demos@erasmusmc.nl.

There is a commentary on this in Clinical Journal of Pain by a veritable expert in the field – difficult to get but, again, you could email the author – Professor Stephen Bruehl stephen.bruehl@vanderbilt.edu