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Table 1 The effect of vitamin C on complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and other orthopedic pain

From: The role of vitamin C in the treatment of pain: new insights

Study type Intervention Findings
Placebo controlled RCT
 Wrist fractures [43]a i. Placebo (N = 167) i. 20–42% CRPS (at 6 weeks), 5–16% CRPS (at 1 year)
ii. 500 mg/day oral vitamin C (N = 169) for 50 days ii. 40–42% CRPS (at 6 weeks), 6–16% CRPS (at 1 year)
 Wrist fractures [44]a i. Placebo (N = 99) i. 10% CRPS
ii. 200 mg/day oral vitamin C (N = 96) ii. 4% CRPS
iii. 500 mg/day oral vitamin C (N = 144) iii. 2% CRPS*
iv. 1.5 g/day oral vitamin C (N = 118) for 50 days iv. 2% CRPS*
 Wrist fractures [45]a i. Placebo (N = 63) i. 22% CRPS
ii. 500 mg/day oral vitamin C (N = 52) for 50 days ii. 7% CRPS* (at 1 year follow up)
 Hip/knee osteoarthritis [55] Placebo or 1 g/day oral vitamin C (N = 133) Cross-over design, 14 days with 7 day washout 5% ↓ pain (VAS)*
Controlled prospective
 Foot and ankle surgery [46]a i. Control (N = 235) i. 10% CRPS
ii. 1 g/day oral vitamin C (N = 185) for 45 days ii. 2% CRPS*
 Wrist fracture surgery [47]a i. Control (N = 100) i. 10% CRPS
ii. 1 g/day oral vitamin C (N = 95) for 45 days ii. 2% CRPS* (at 90 day follow up)
 Paget’s disease of bone [59] i. Calcitonin (N = 13) i. Pain relief in 85%, marked ↓ pain in 31%
ii. Calcitonin + 3 g/day vitamin C (N = 11) for 2 weeks ii. Pain relief in 73%, marked ↓ pain in 45%
Uncontrolled prospective
 Arthritic joint replacement surgery [54]a 500 mg/day oral vitamin C (N = 34) for 50 days 0% CRPS cases
 Paget’s disease of bone [58] 3 g/day oral vitamin C (N = 16) for 2 weeks ↓ Pain in 50%, no pain in 20% (within 5-7 days)
Case report
 Rheumatoid arthritis [56] 50 g IV vitamin C twice/week for 4 weeks Before: 100% pain (QLQ)
After: 0% pain
  1. IV intravenous, VAS visual analog scale, QLQ quality of life questionnaire
  2. P < 0.05
  3. aStudy was included in CRPS meta-analysis [4852]