Patients with Preexisting Anxiety and Mood Disorders Are More Likely to Develop Complex Regional Pain Syndrome after Fractures

Daniel E. Pereira, David Momtaz, Rishi Gonuguntla, Mehul Mittal, Aaron Singh, Dhyan Dave, Pooya Hosseinzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

BackgroundComplex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a multifactorial condition that may affect patients who sustain a fracture in the upper and lower extremities. Prior investigations have formed a foundation for exploring a possible association between psychiatric disorders and the development of CRPS; however, current studies are conflicted regarding the existence and temporality of a relationship between psychiatric disorders and the potential development of CRPS.Questions/purposes(1) Are patients with preexisting anxiety and mood disorders (AMDs) at increased risk of receiving a diagnosis of CRPS after upper or lower extremity fractures? (2) Are patients with preexisting AMDs at increased risk of being diagnosed with CRPS after surgical fixation of their fracture?MethodsA large, retrospective cohort study was conducted using the TriNetX electronic medical record platform, which contains data from more than 100 million patients. This platform gathers data from healthcare organizations in the United States and Europe and collects comprehensive data over time that includes temporality rather than simply the binary presence or absence of conditions. The cohort included 760,595 patients older than 18 years with upper or lower extremity fractures between 2003 and 2022. Included patients had a minimum 1-year follow-up. We defined AMDs as any diagnosis of anxiety, depressive episode or disorder, a manic episode, or bipolar disorder. Patients with polytrauma or concurrent upper and lower extremity fractures were excluded to reduce confounders. CRPS I diagnosis was identified via International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition codes. Propensity score matching was performed to balance cohorts based on age, gender, and race. Hazard ratios and Aalen-Johansen cumulative incidence curves for the diagnosis of CRPS were calculated for patients with and without AMD diagnoses before sustaining a fracture. A subanalysis was performed in which we examined individuals in the upper and lower extremity fracture cohorts who underwent surgical treatment.ResultsPatients with preexisting AMDs were at a higher risk of experiencing CRPS I than patients without AMDs were (upper extremity: HR 1.8 [95% CI 1.7 to 1.9]; p < 0.01, lower extremity: HR 2.2 [95% CI 2.0 to 2.3]; p < 0.01). Similarly, patients with preexisting AMDs were at higher risk of experiencing CRPS I after fracture fixation than patients without AMDs were (upper extremity: HR 1.3 [95% CI 1.2 to 1.5]; p < 0.01, lower extremity: HR 2.3 [95% CI 2.1 to 2.5]; p < 0.01).ConclusionAwareness of the relationship between AMDs and CRPS I will direct future research about the development of this condition and associated neurologic changes. Additionally, surgeons can address AMDs perioperatively and arrange for the treatment of these AMDs with psychiatrists, neurologists, or social work, as appropriate. Accordingly, patients with AMDs should also be made aware of the inherent risk of CRPS I after an upper or lower extremity fracture to comprehensively educate and care for this at-risk patient population.Level of EvidenceLevel III, therapeutic study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-230
Number of pages9
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Volume482
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024

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