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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy


 overjoid - Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:07 pm

I was recently diagnosed with RSD after an injury to my wrist (fall on outstretched hand). My right arm is constantly painful (burning), cold with goosebumps, ring finger and pinky sweat like crazy, and very pale. I've begun physiotherapy, and they are using intramuscular stimulation to treat it. My ring finger and pinky are curled in so that they touch the palm of my hand, and there is significant ulnar deviation at my wrist. After the treatment, the fingers open slightly, my wrist straightens out a bit, and the pain is reduced (but not much). I do range of motion work at home, but as soon as I move my elbow, my fingers and wrist return to the abnormal position and sometimes start twitching.

The injury was treated as a scaphoid fracture (casted for 2 weeks, splinted for 2 additional weeks, both immobilized thumb). 2 clear x-rays and a bone scan with some increased activity but negative for fracture.

I am a musician/music teacher (part of my income comes from playing piano), and I am concerned that I may be doing more damage by moving it. I have an EMG booked, but live in a small urban area, and the earliest date they could book it is February 2009.

Could there be something other than RSD at work? Should I hold off on movement until I go back to physio on Tuesday?

(I also have epilepsy, controlled with dilantin and clobazam)
 overjoid - Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:15 pm

Update: I got in for an earlier EMG and nerve function is normal. Pain, coldness, sweating, and hand position still as posted above. I am getting a splint made to help restore proper hand position and continuing with physiotherapy. I also have a consult with a plastic surgeon next week (I think to discuss the possibility of a sympathetic nerve block to try and manage the pain).

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