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Arch Dis Child 82:231-233 doi:10.1136/adc.82.3.231
  • Article

Morbidity in reflex sympathetic dystrophy

Abstract

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), an unusual diagnosis in general paediatrics, is well recognised by paediatric rheumatologists. This study reports the presentation and the clinical course of 46 patients (35 female, age range 8–15.2) with RSD. The patients saw professionals from an average of 2.3 specialties (range 1–5). Twenty five (54%) had a history of trauma. Median time to diagnosis was 12 weeks (range 1–130). Many children had multiple investigations and treatments. Once diagnosis was made, treatment followed with physiotherapy and analgesics. Median time to recovery was seven weeks (range 1–140), with 27.5% relapsing. Nine children required assessment by the child and adolescent psychiatry team. This disease, though rare, has significant morbidity and it is therefore important to raise clinicians' awareness of RSD in childhood. Children with the condition may then be recognised and referred for appropriate management earlier, and spared unnecessary investigations and treatments which may exacerbate the condition.

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