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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Board Index

RSD is diagnosed by the drastic increase of pain after an injury or surgery when the body should have healed and stopped hurting. There can be burning but not always. There are the color changes, temp changes, sometimes atrophy from not using the limb(s). There can also be changes in the hair and nails, both the growth(fast or slow) or hair loss, nails can look ridged.

There is NO test to diagnose RSD for sure. It will never show up on an EMG,MRI or some of those other 3 letter tests. [b]sometimes[/b] it will show up on a bone scan but if it doesn't that does not mean you don't have RSD, all it really means is that you don't have osteopenia(the start of osteoporosis) or osteoporosis. That's what shows up is changes to the bones. In my 1st yr I had 2 bone scans and both were negative for RSD but I do have it full body. The smart docs know that bone scans have no bearing on a specific diagnosis for RSD. They won't make you get one then when it's negative say well, you don't have it then! LOL

Thermography is another test that a few docs use because it shows how drastic the temp change is in the limb(s) with RSD.

Getting blocks are used by some docs as a diagnostic tool. The smart ones who actually know about RSD do it to see if the pain is still sympathetically maintained or sympathetically independent. So, if you experience some relief from pain then it's still SM and if you don't get any relief then that usually means it's independent and too late for any blocks at all as no matter how many you get it will never help.

So, the diagnosis of RSD is done by physical symptoms that are easily seen.

Hope this helps explain things.


Karen basically said it all.. Its hard to dx.. Thats great if your dr just dx you that fast.. Sounds like he knows what he's talking about..
I have RSD in all four extremities.. it started in my right hand.. I start slight color change, the red spots, purple spots etc. little swelling nothing big that someone would notice.. Alot of burning, just the palm of my hands.. My skin did end up peeling.. It looked like sunburn.. It took the 4 yrs to dx me..
You can't worry about what other people think.. YOu will get that alot.. They don't understand it.. They will say its in your head. Truthfully, who could make up all those symptoms? Tell all those people to read up about RSD then come back to you. Iam sorry if Iam being harsh.. Its just that you hear this all the time... I just got to the point after 7 yrs of having this.. You cannot worry about what they think.. Whats important is you taking care of yourself, and your relationship between you and your dr..
If you are doubting your dr. Go for a second opinion.. Just for your own sound mind...
All my test came back negative.. As time went on and it started spreading.. This is when they dx me.... Sometimes its to early.
One thing I did do.. I took alot of pictures. Becuase every time I would see the DR my symptoms weren't there.. Mine at first usually came early evening and at nite.. These pictures helped my dr and lawyers...
Good luck

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