Decreasing incidence of complex regional pain syndrome in the Netherlands: a retrospective multicenter study

Tjitske D. Groenveld, Emily Z. Boersma*, Taco J. Blokhuis, Frank W. Bloemers, Jan Paul M. Frölke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Complex regional pain syndrome type I (CRPS) is a symptom-based diagnosis of which the reported incidence varies widely. In daily practice, there appears to be a decrease in incidence of CRPS after a distal radius fracture and in general. Questions/purposes: The aim of this study was to assess the trend in the incidence of CRPS after a distal radius fracture and in general in the Netherlands from 2014 to 2018. Methods: The incidence of CRPS after a distal radius fracture was calculated by dividing the number of confirmed cases of CRPS after distal radius fracture by the total number of patients diagnosed with a distal radius fracture. Medical records of these patients were reviewed. Hospital-based data were used to establish a trend in incidence of CRPS in general. A Dutch national database was used to measure the trend in the incidence of CRPS in the Netherlands by calculating annual incidence rates: the number of new CRPS cases, collected from the national database, divided by the Dutch mid-year population. Results: The incidence of CRPS after distal radius fracture over the whole study period was 0.36%. Hospital data showed an absolute decrease in CRPS cases from 520 in 2014 to 223 in 2018. National data confirmed this with a decrease in annual incidence from 23.2 (95% CI: 22.5–23.9) per 100,000 person years in 2014 to 16.1 (95% CI: 15.5–16.7) per 100,000 person years in 2018. Conclusion: A decreasing trend of CRPS is shown in this study. We hypothesize this to be the result of the changing approach towards CRPS and fracture management, with more focus on prevention and the psychological aspects of disproportionate posttraumatic pain. Level of Evidence: level 3 (retrospective cohort study).
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Pain
Early online date2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

Cite this