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Scientific Articles   |    
Amputation for Long-Standing, Therapy-Resistant Type-I Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Hilde K. Krans-Schreuder, MD1; Marlies I. Bodde, MD1; Ernst Schrier, MSc1; Pieter U. Dijkstra, PhD1; Jan A. van den Dungen, PhD1; Wilfred F. den Dunnen, PhD1; Jan H. Geertzen, PhD1
1 Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine (H.K.K.-S., M.I.B., E.S., P.U.D., and J.H.G.), Oral and Maxillofacial (P.U.D), Surgery (J.A.v.d.D.), and Pathology and Medical Biology (W.F.d.D.), University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, P.O. Box 30001, 9700 RB Groningen, the Netherlands. E-mail address for H.K. Krans-Schreuder: krans.h@bethesda.nl
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Investigation performed at the University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands



Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2012 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2012 Dec 19;94(24):2263-2268. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.00532
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Abstract

Background: 

Some patients with long-standing, therapy-resistant type-I complex regional pain syndrome consider an amputation. There is a lack of evidence regarding the risk of recurrence of the pain syndrome and patient outcomes after amputation. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the impact of an amputation on pain, participation in daily life activities, and quality of life as well as the use of a prosthesis and the risk of recurrence of the pain syndrome in patients with long-standing, therapy-resistant type-I complex regional pain syndrome.

Methods: 

From May 2000 to October 2008, twenty-two patients underwent an amputation of a nonfunctional limb at our institution because of long-standing, therapy-resistant type-I complex regional pain syndrome. Twenty-one of these patients were included in our study. The median age was forty-six years (interquartile range [IQR], thirty-seven to fifty-one years), the median duration of the complex regional pain syndrome was six years (IQR, two to ten years), and the median interval between the amputation and the study was five years (IQR, three to seven years). A semistructured interview was conducted, physical examination of the residual limb was performed, and the patients completed two questionnaires.

Results: 

Twenty patients (95%) reported an improvement in their lives. Nineteen patients (90%) reported a reduction in pain, seventeen patients (81%) reported an improvement in mobility, and fourteen (67%) reported an improvement in sleep. Eighteen of the twenty-one patients stated that they would choose to undergo an amputation again under the same circumstances. Ten of the fifteen patients with a lower-limb amputation and one of the six with an upper-limb amputation regularly used a prosthesis. The type-I complex regional pain syndrome recurred in the residual limb of three patients (14%) and symptoms recurred in another limb in two patients (10%).

Conclusions: 

Amputation may positively contribute to the lives of patients with long-standing, therapy-resistant type-I complex regional pain syndrome. Patients were likely to use a prosthesis after a lower-limb amputation. The risk of recurrence of the type-I complex regional pain syndrome was 24%.

Level of Evidence: 

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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