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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Board Index

RSD or not?
Jul 2, 2003
I've started this post because I feel like I'm kind of in the same boat as Alanmc56. That is, I'm not getting a definite answer from the doctors on my diagnosis.

As some of you may remember, I injured my toe 3 months ago. I apologize if I am repeating myself from a previous post but I'm still in pain and also still really confused. My symptoms at first were the following:

After 3 days of injuring my foot, I could not put any pressure on the ball of my foot. If I did, I would go through the roof with the worst electrical shock type of pain. My foot would swell up all the time and turn purple. After a month, I saw the doctor I work with (a pain management doctor) who knows RSD very well. Just by the look on his face, I knew what he was thinking but he told me I developed osteoporosis in my ankle and that I could have RSD or Morton's neuroma. I researched both and was horrified to find that I had almost all of the same symptoms as RSD (except hypersensitivity of the skin) and not Morton's neuroma. I was advised to exercise my foot every hour and to see a physical therapist and a podiatrist immediately.

I started seeing a podiatrist who thought it was a mild case of RSD, gave me a posterior tibial nerve block in my ankle and asked me to come back in a week. When I came back, I was able to walk on my foot without pain. She then decided that it wasn't RSD.

Two weeks later, I was just lying in bed when my ankle popped and I had excruciating pain. I decided not to go to the E.R. because I had a follow-up appointment with my podiatrist in 2 days. When I saw her, she indicated I had torn ligaments in my ankle. She put me in an air cast instead of a regular cast because she didn't want the nerve problems to come back in my foot.

Two weeks later, I now have shin splints too. The podiatrist gave me a removable "Low Profile walker" because of the "complex regional pain syndrome." I am really confused because she said previously that I didn't have RSD and now is she saying I do?

My current symptoms which are constant are: My entire leg hurts (like someone is stretching it in two directions) or another way to describe it is it feels like when you have a fever and your extremities ache. I have an annoying feeling in my foot like it is asleep, and it is tingling, hot (not to the touch) and stiff. Then, maybe 3 times a week, multiple times throughout the day, I will get terrible spasm-like pains in my ankle. They are so bad that I have to grab the crutches and lie down. I'm taking Indomethacin, an anti-inflammatory, for the pain flares which helps a little.

My questions are: 1) Could it be that I did have RSD but it is in remission? 2) Should I be concerned about my current symptoms; that is, do I have RSD and it is not in remission? 3) Should I ask the doctor for a bone scan (on the advice of the pain management doctor I work with)? He indicates that this is one way to tell if you have RSD or not; but, if it is in remission, what would show up on the scan? And what specifically are they looking for on a bone scan?

Thank you for your help, and I'm sorry this is so long.


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