Complex regional pain syndrome involving the face following snowball injury

Anu Goenka, Majid Aziz, Phil Riley, Grace Vassallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a condition of unknown etiology characterized by autonomic, sensory, and motor disturbance. CRPS usually follows an injury in the affected limb, which is often trivial in nature. CRPS involving the facial region is rare, and there have been no previous descriptions in children. We describe a 13-year-old girl with CRPS involving the face, which developed after being struck by a snowball. The clinical characteristics were similar to those of CRPS elsewhere in the body involving burning pain, hyperalgesia, and hyperesthesia. This was later accompanied by skin edema, fluctuating color, and temperature changes, as well as loss of eyebrow hair. Following detailed but inconclusive investigations, a clinical diagnosis of CRPS was made in line with Budapest diagnostic criteria. Over the next year, her condition gradually improved with ongoing comprehensive multidisciplinary input. We present this patient to alert clinicians to consider CRPS in the differential diagnosis of similar cases who present with chronic facial pain and skin changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-400
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes/diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Face/pathology
  • Facial Injuries/diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Play and Playthings/injuries
  • Snow

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