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: Better, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 27

I got reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS) after back surgery. I had a ruptured disc with pieces of disc in the nerves for 1 1/2 years. I was seeing a pain doctor, but was told there was nothing wrong but that I was just fat. I asked my primary doctor to order MRI. I then went to a neurosurgeon and had a fusion. Soon after, my toes started to 'fire up'; they would at random times turn fire red, swell, prick and burn. The only thing that helped was to put an ice pack on. I could not touch my toes even with a sheet because it hurt so badly. I went to many doctors but no one knew what to do so it just kept getting worse, 'growing' up my legs almost to my knees. A doctor started doing sympathetic nerve blocks at the site of surgery. I have had one procedure per month for 5 months and it is gone from my legs but still in my feet, though not as severe.

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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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