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Psychological aspects. A series of 104 posttraumatic cases of reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

Authors
  • Rauïs, A L
Type
Published Article
Journal
Acta orthopaedica Belgica
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1999
Volume
65
Issue
1
Pages
86–90
Identifiers
PMID: 10217007
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Over a period of 12 years, 104 cases of posttraumatic reflex sympathetic dystrophy have been diagnosed followed up and treated according to a standard protocol, including, among other clinical items, a psychiatric examination. Apart from the traditional clinical recordings, the following has been noted: 1. All patients were over 30 years of age; 2. No relationship was found between the significance of the trauma and the severity of the dystrophy; 3. The dystrophy nearly always emerged at the time of the primary healing of the injury; 4. On psychiatric examination, 96% of the patients showed signs of chronic depression; 5. Forty-nine percent had elevated gamma GT suggestive of alcohol abuse; 6. The socioprofessional context always revealed: either a state of inactivity (jobless persons, disabled persons, childless housewives, pensioners); or an opportunity for inactivity (work injury suffered by workers, lower-rank employees, bankrupt self-employed people). There were no tradesmen, executives, lawyers, physicians, consultants, artists, sportsmen or musicians in the series, and no housewives with young children. 7. In the second phase of the survey, we decided to complement the drug therapy by systematically adding antidepressant agents. This led to a significant improvement in the course of the disease. These elements have led us to consider whether traumatic algodystrophy could be a psychosomatic disease.

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