Neurology Community
45.2k Members
Avatar universal


Hey, I went to the Neurologist today and he thinks I have Reflex sympathetic dystrophy. I do not get why I would have gotten this from such a simple surgery.  Could you tell me about RSD and how they think I could have got it.  Thanks so much

8 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi Sam,
I think I should tell you about this nine year old child, who was apparently normal and playing around. He was having fever and headache, was asked for an LP. After a Lumbar Puncture was done, he started having pain in his knee. Being a basketball player, he went on to play in spite of knee hurting. Since then he is been having continuous pain in his knee which comes and goes. This child is diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.
What did you understand from the symptoms of the above mentioned child? Does it sound like yours?
Well to tell you about RSD, here the patients live with constant and severe burning and/or deep aching pain. Usually it is related to trauma or injury, but in lot of cases there is no apparent reason as it is in your case.
Many a times patients are not been understood properly by family members, health care workers and medical professional's. Often they are been told that there symptoms are in head.
In actuality, the sympathetic nervous system is in heightened alert state. Even the gentle stimulation of a light breeze on the skin creates tremendous pain.
Burning or aching pain in one or more extremities is the first sign of RSD.
The pain discourages movement, which leads to disuse muscle atrophy.
There are some who complaints of stiffness, hence making it difficult for them to initiate movement.
The stiffness can be alleviated with a sympathetic nerve block.
What is the treatment going on for you and what have the doctor's planned?
Is there any improvement?
Avatar universal
The only symptem i have out of them is is pain.  I went to my dr. again yesterday and he said that the nerve test came back good so there is no nerve damage.  He doesn't think it is RSD any more.   He is still confused on what it could be.  He said my motor part of my nerve is working good must the senses of the nerve aren't.  It has gotten worse sense the last time I talk to you.  I have been getting shooting pains in my hand.  I still get bad tingling when i extend my arm and starts at my armpit region. I have also been getting pain in my anterior lateral part just below my elbow.  I cant put any pressure on it.  I am starting physical therapy probably monday.  Should there be any reason for me to get a MRI.  I hope you have some more idea of what this could be. Thanks
Avatar universal
I just your saw post.
If the motor part of your nerve is working fine, that indicates there might be some sensory nerve damage. What was the reason for your doctor to think of RSD? Did you suffer any trauma? Have any injury been treated and inspite of all measures you still continue to have pain?
MRI might be helpful to see any compression of nerve in your arm. MRI is helpful in seeing soft tissue structures in the body.
I think there is some kind of peripheral nerve damage. Cause of nerve damage can be anything like trauma, any procedure done on hand which has injured some fibres of nerve.
This pain if due to loss of some fibres in nerve, then it will take time for it to get better. Nerves outside the spinal cord which are not damaged completely grow at the rate of 1mm/day.
Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
      I want to get a second opinion but my family dr. will not call the place for the appt.  I need a referral to get into the place where i need to go.  Its the KU Med center in kansas city kansas.  The dr. who did the surgery, keeps tellin me that its ok and it will get better.  But its been 5 weeks and its getting worse.  What should i do?
Avatar universal
Hi Sam,
I think you should be seeing another neurologist and an orthopaedician which ever is earliest possible.
You need to continue on pain killers and if required you can increase the dosages.
You also require physiotherapy to continue to avoid any disuse atrophy of muscle. As you are feeling pain, you would be hesitant to move that limb and hence mild exercise is required.
Cryotherapy and warm fomentation can be helpful.
If you are thinking it is still RSD, then the pain is related to RSD and there is no sure for that.
Avatar universal
Thanks for responding.  My family dr. talked to the surgeon today and he told her he thinks its nerve damage from the block.  He has never once said that to me, when i asked him if that could be possible he said no.  That was kinda weird.  I am going to the KU Med center in kansas city to see a neurologist.  I will let you know how everything works out!...  The pain killers I am on do not help at all, my dr. told me no when i asked him about the nerve meds. like lyrica.  The reason he said no is cause it makes you sleepy, well pain meds can do the same as that... Its just a weird deal.  Thanks
Avatar universal
Hi Sam,
It is indeed weird and makes us feel surprised regarding illogical thoughts of learned people.
What I want for you from your family doctor is to review the pain meds.
I want him to start you on 2-3 pain meds at lower dose and space out over a period of 24 hours.
No two medicines should go at the same time.
This regimen or plan helps a lot.
You would find difference within days.
I hope the best for you.
Keep me informed.
Avatar universal
What type of pain med should i take.  I have 5mg of percaset (sp)....  would those work
Have an Answer?
Top Neurology Answerers
620923 tn?1452915648
Allentown, PA
5265383 tn?1483808356
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499301793
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease