Leg pains in CHD: a distressing symptom of a wider problem
Cardiology in the Young
AbstractPurposeAnecdotal reports suggest that children and young adults with CHD frequently experience pain in their legs. The purpose of this pilot study, performed by Little Hearts Matter patient organisation, was to assess the burden of leg pains in this group and begin to investigate associated factors and consequences for daily living.MethodsAn internet-based survey was distributed by Little Hearts Matter patient organisation. After anonymisation and collation, responses were analysed and
... were analysed and compared with their healthy siblings.ResultsOf the 220 patients who responded, 94% reported leg pains compared with 30% of siblings (n=107; p<0.001). In respondents, pain was typically reported to occur in the lower legs or around the knees or ankles, often associated with crying and screaming (49.0%) and most commonly occurring at night-time (82.0%). Individuals taking aspirin and those who were more active were more likely to report leg pains. Older age was associated with leg pain that occurred with stress (p=0.02) and at night (p=0.05). Analgesia (64.1%) or massage (53.9%) was the preferred option for alleviation. There was no gender bias, association with diagnosis, surgical history, and/ or relationship with diagnosed orthopaedic issues.ConclusionLeg pains are more frequent in those with CHD compared with their healthy siblings. Aetiology is uncertain, but pains share many common characteristics with benign "growing pains".