Objective. To evaluate the influence of pain sensitization in the early recovery of distal radius fractures (DRFs) on the occurrence and prognosis of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type I. Methods. We enrolled 58 patients who were diagnosed with CRPS I based on Budapest criteria within six months after sustaining DRF; they were age- and gender-matched with 58 patients with DRF who did not have CRPS I. We commonly measured patients’ pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) in the forearm and administered a Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire (PSQ) when patients complained of pain with numeric rating scale 4 at three-month follow-up. Participants were followed up three, six, and 12 months after injury, and the symptoms and sign of CRPS were evaluated at each follow-up. Results. Patients with CRPS I were more likely to have sustained high-energy injuries, had severe fractures, and had significantly higher PSQ scores and lower PPTs than the age- and gender-matched controls. At 12 months after injury, CRPS symptoms improved in 52% (30/58) of patients who had been diagnosed with CRPS I at three months after injury. The initial degree of pain sensitization and high-energy injury were associated with persistence of CRPS symptoms up to 12 months after initial injury. Conclusions. Patients with CRPS I after DRF exhibited significantly higher pain sensitization in the early post-trauma period, and the degree of initial pain sensitization and high-energy injuries were associated with prolonged CRPS I signs and symptoms up to one year after initial injury.
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Distal radius fracture
- Early recovery
- Pain sensitization