Reflex Sympathetic Osteodystrophy / Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: A Neglected Complication of Distal Radius Fracture

Badaruddin Sahito, Dileep Kumar, Syed Mohammad Tariq, Sunel, Nauman Hussain, Syed Mujtaba Shah

  • Badaruddin Sahito Department of orthopaedic surgery Dow University of Health Sciences / Civil Hospital Karachi



To assess the occurrence of reflex sympathetic osteodystrophy following different treatment modalities for distal radius fracture.

Study design

Cross sectional study.

Place & Duration of study

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dow University of Health Sciences / Civil Hospital Karachi, from April 2013 to August 2017.


Patients treated for distal radius fractures were enrolled from outpatient department. They were assessed for reflex sympathetic osteodystrophy on the basis of history, clinical examination and radiograph at 4 weeks, 6 weeks   and 10 weeks after treatment. Only those patients who had acute complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), were included.


Eighty-four patients with distal radius fractures were treated either conservatively or with orthofix and plating. Twenty patients treated conservatively, four with orthofix and K-wire and two with plating, developed reflex sympathetic osteodystrophy (RSO), however frequency of reflex sympathetic osteodystrophy with respect to treatment method used was statistically insignificant (p>0.05).


Reflex sympathetic osteodystrophy was one of the common complications of distal radius fracture found in this study. Different treatment modalities used for this condition did not affect the outcome.

Key words

Distal radius, Reflex sympathetic, Osteodystrophy, Complications-fracture.