Two cases of trauma-induced [1,2] Dercum’s disease have been described. The first patient developed a painful fatty tumour, which was very sensitive to pressure and gave rise to much spontaneous pain, after falling on a stone pavement. The painful adipose tissue lingered for a year after the disappearance of the bruises [2]. In the second case, the patient fell down a tree and landed on his right shoulder one year before the onset of Dercum’s disease. No fracture could be detected. One year after the accident, a painful adipose tissue tumour started to grow on his right shoulder. Five years after the injury, an x-ray of the painful shoulder was performed and a humeral fracture that appeared pathological was found. However, the origin of the pathological fracture is unclear [1].

All in all, cases of trauma induced Dercum’s disease seem to occur. However, in some of the cases reported in the literature the evidence is circumstantial[3].

1.Margherita G: Considerations on a case of post-traumatic adiposis dolorosa associated with a pathologic fracture. Rass Neuropsichiatr 1964, 18:211–218.  2.Hall JH, Walbrach CE: Adiposis dolorosa with report of three cases. Am J Med Sci 1904, 128:218–322.  3.Hansson E, Svensson H, Brorson H: Review of Dercum’s disease and proposal of diagnostic criteria, diagnostic. methods, classification and management Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 2012, 7:23 doi:10.1186/1750-1172-7-23

*Case reports are generally considered a type of anecdotal evidence. Given their intrinsic methodological limitations, including lack of statistical sampling, case reports are placed at the foot of the hierarchy of clinical evidence, together with case series.


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