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Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome in Pediatrics

Rise in diagnoses and costs point to need for more research, treatment methods

A PPM Brief

A Pennsylvania-based individualized therapeutic service company recently highlighted that more and more children are being diagnosed with Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome, or AMPS.

Made up of several different types of amplified pain disorders, including fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), AMPS patients often respond well to frequent, functional treatment, which may be provided by pain medicine and rehabilitation physicians.

Indeed, a May 2017 paper by Kaufman et al,  concluded that “medication use, procedures, studies, therapies, professionals seen, hospitalizations, and surgeries in children with AMPS all increased significantly” over the course of 2008 and 2014. The researchers reviewed self-reported data from patients (899 subjects ages 3-20) presenting to a pain clinic.

More recently, researchers at Texas Children’s Hospital looked at the economic burden of pediatric musculoskeletal disease.  Reviewing data from ICD-9 CM codes among 11 diagnosis categories, the authors found that more than 19 million children and adolescents received treatment in medical centers, physicians’ offices, and hospitals for a musculoskeletal-related condition in the year 2012 alone. The most common reason for treatment (68%) was traumatic injury, followed by a pain syndrome (13%) and deformity (9%). “Although we found that hospital-related charges for musculoskeletal diseases for children and adolescents in 2012 totaled $7.6 billion, this number underestimates the total cost for all pediatric musculoskeletal conditions,” they concluded.

Improved methods for evaluating the impact of and treatment for AMPS among the pediatric population may be long overdue.

Last updated on: April 6, 2018
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