Complex regional pain syndrome in an 8-year-old female with emotional stress during deployment of a family member

Ryan D Pearson, Justin Bailey
Military Medicine 2011, 176 (8): 876-8

INTRODUCTION: This pediatric case of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) illustrates the need to expand the typical age range and raise awareness of the psychological impact military deployment may have on its development.

CASE: An emotional 8-year-old female, with a recently deployed father, presented with left foot pain. Over an 11-week-period, she developed symptoms, signs, and radiologic findings consistent with CRPS.

DISCUSSION: Pediatric CRPS is characterized by ecchymosis, edema, allodynia, mottling, and abnormal hair growth in the region of pain after minor trauma. It occurs predominately in adolescent females, mainly affects the lower limbs, and is associated with psychological stressors. This patient with CRPS presents several years younger than what is commonly described in the literature in the stressful setting of a deployed parent.

CONCLUSION: CRPS can occur in younger than expected age ranges of children who experience the unique emotional stressor of a deployed family member.

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