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: judy mathis, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD) came on to me in 1995 after surgery to remove a Morton's neuroma. I live in a small town, and after many, many trips to every specialist, they could diagnose RSD. After many treatments and consults they decided there was nothing they could do but medicate me and send me on my merry way. I still have neurologists stating they are still not sure I have RSD. It has been a roller coaster. I lost my home, my husband, and my job due to this disease. I hate it. I want to be off the drugs but without the drugs I shudder to think what I would do to control this pain. It is a 24/7 disease. It never leaves you and is always in the limelight. As you can tell I am bitter over this. I keep thinking they can do hand implants but can't repair my foot from this pain. Thank you for listening, it helps to vent sometimes.

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Comment from: jo genesta, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 08

I have reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD) and I have had it for 17 years now. It started with a knee surgery. I have had 37 surgeries in my life so the RSD attacked my whole body, both arms, both legs, and lower back. About five months ago both of my hands swelled up and are beet red and I have a lot of burning. I have tried every medication the doctors gave me but nothing really helped. I have had a spinal stimulator put in until a car hit me from behind and knocked my leads out of place. I've had a morphine pump in me for a month, nothing seems to help and to top things off I now have fibromyalgia.

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