|Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / Algodystrophy -||by
RSD is a very difficult problem that is now called algodystrophy.
It is characterised by several stages in its development and manifestations.
It often develops after trauma to a peripheral limb in 50 % of cases and 25 % after stroke / heart attack / nerve injury and 25% are of unknown cause.
The condition is characterised by unrelenting pain-which is a
deep aching /burning character, and is severely tender, such that the patient overprotects
the limb and avoids any movement. The condition also is occasionally seen in children.
Stage 1 (Steinbroker classification - pain tender swelling, flushing sweating of the limb..this may persist for 3 - 6 months.
No one really knows what causes it, but it is felt to be an overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system pathways.
The best tests for it if x rays dont show patchy or diffuse osteopenia of the underlying bones, is a technetium bone scan with blood flow studies.
Therapy is difficult.
I have never yet had a treatment failure that required the latter
surgical option -
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