Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome - Share Your Experience

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What is reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)?

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is a condition that features a group of typical symptoms, including pain (often "burning" type), tenderness, and swelling of an extremity associated with varying degrees of sweating, warmth and/or coolness, flushing, discoloration, and shiny skin. RSD is also referred to as "complex regional pain syndrome," "the shoulder-hand syndrome," "causalgia," and "Sudeck's atrophy."

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Comment from: beejay, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 12

I developed reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD) in my right foot after having what was supposed to be a minor surgery to remove a section of bone in my little toe where a corn had developed. That was in 1991 and I am still in pain to this day (2016). It took doctors three years and numerous treatments and medications before my condition was diagnosed. I have the tingling, burning pain in the foot on a constant basis. In 2012 I needed and had a knee replacement. I developed RSD in the knee too. I take pain medicines daily; use a power wheelchair, a walker, knee brace and cane to be mobile. I have gained weight as I cannot move as I once did. I have moments of depression, but have pretty much accepted this is something I just have to live with. If another doctor even mentions the word surgery to me, I panic. I will not go under the knife again unless it's a matter of life or death! People who do not suffer with chronic pain don't understand and think I'm sometimes making excuses for not doing things or for not wanting to do things. Truth is, I just hurt so I do less to feel better. I had to retire at age 44 because I could no longer do a job I loved. My wishes and sympathy go out to anyone who has to deal with this ailment.

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Comment from: Margaret, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 17

I have had reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD) since 1998 onwards. I tried just about every treatment out there. I am on low dose Norco as a higher dose may not work during what I call just-kill-me pain. I had back surgery and have RSD in both legs. My suggestion is to find a doctor who actually listens to you. I am still active and try to deal with the pain. As hard as it is for us with RSD it is also hard on our loved ones.

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