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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board


Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Board Index


Hi everyone,

First, I'd like to say that after several years, I still do not know whether or not I have RSD or a nerve injury. To this day, I have not had SEVERE burning pain (I have some mild to almost moderate burning sensations in my toes that come & go) or redness/swelling or skin or nail changes that are typically associated with RSD, so it's been difficult to get diagnosed. Only one doctor said I have RSD, but he didn't even want me to take my shoe off of the good foot for comparison. I am in severe pain almost every waking moment. And the pain is getting worse.

When I first injured my foot, the chronic pain was localized to the ball of my foot. A podiatrist had injected my foot twice with Kenalog which immediately led to fat pad atrophy...the manufacturer of Kenalog states in its literature of Kenalog that it can cause muscle atrophy (and I think nerve atrophy). Because I've had Kenalog injections that can cause damage inside the foot, it's hard to know whether the Kenalog caused the damage/pain in my foot or if it could be due to a combination of nerve damage from the injury, plus the injections and possible RSD.

So onto the question about the possible spread of RSD. In the past five years, I haven't been getting much exercise, because it's like a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. When I try to do more activities, the pain gets so bad that I need a full day in bed to recover. I know I've lost muscle tone in my body from not working out. Within the past couple of years, I noticed that the muscles in my toes on the bad foot are much weaker than on the good foot where the toes are all normal. The toes look thinner than the ones on my good foot and three of them hurt very bad. Currently, my forth toe has atrophy around the joint of the toe, and the toe is very painful...it looks like someone took a small bite out of my toe on the side of it. I had gone to doctors to complain of pain along the side of that toe way before it atrophied, but they brushed me off and one of them laughed. In the last few months, I've noticed some muscle pain around my ankle of that foot. And in the last few weeks, the muscle pain has spread up to my calf on the leg of the bad foot. I also feel some minor muscle twitches in that calf that come and go. Sometimes it feels like a pulsating muscle pain or like someone is pressing hard into my calf. However, I don't have any pain whatsoever in the other calf. I think that if the muscle pain was due to lack of exercise, I would have the pain in both lower legs/ankles. The fact that I have pain in one calf but not the other worries me that something bad is happening or that I actually do have RSD and it's spreading.

Please let me know what some of the signs are that RSD is spreading. Do my new symptoms of the calf muscles aching/twitching sound like it could be the spread of RSD? If not, what would cause muscle pain in one calf but not the other? If this is RSD spreading, what should I do? I don't know what doctor to go to since none I've been to so far have a clue.

By the way, how do you manage to exercise with the pain?

Thank you for any help. Right now the pain is so bad that I can't wait to be able to fall asleep.





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