The reflex sympathetic dystrophy : that he is hiding behind this barbarous name? This is an unpredictable complication that is triggered usually after a more or less serious injury (fracture, sprain , dislocation, …) or after a surgical bone or joint. The reflex sympathetic dystrophy, which affects more frequently women than men, manifested by tingling , pain ankle, or leg, or arm …
The RSD is also known algoneurodystrophie or complex regional pain syndrome ( CRPS ).
What are the symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy?
There are several steps involved in the development of the disease. However, each individual reacts in a personal way. Initially, the area becomes slightly swollen, hot, sometimes with tingling, burning and pain. The intensity of pain varies, but aggravated by movement.
Appear later cramping , a local sweating , and stiffness of the affected limb. This stage lasts about three months. Then the symptoms change. The pain worsens and becomes more diffuse at the same time. The swelling decreases, the member is often cold and weaker while the skin becomes pale and thin. The joint has a progressive stiffness. If no treatment is initiated, pain can persist and spread throughout the member, with a risk of muscle atrophy.
We can see signs of bone demineralization, by performing a bone radiology. Other tests are sometimes performed: a bone scan, a magnetic resonance imaging ( Irm ).
The reasons for the reflex sympathetic dystrophy
The causes of reflex sympathetic dystrophy are poorly understood. There exists an “overreaction” of the nervous system (called sympathetic) from trauma bone or joint, or an operation of bones , joints. Metabolic disease, such as diabetes or disease of the thyroid , may also promote algodystrophie. In all cases, the RSD is unfortunately a fairly common condition, and those who have suffered know that it is difficult to solve.
Treatment of reflex sympathetic dystrophy
There is no treatment coded as one ignores the real cause of this disease. We use treatments that differ by stage of disease development.
Against pain, use of conventional drugs such as analgesics (tramadol, paracetamol) rarely morphine, calcitonin injections (intramuscular or subcutaneous), sometimes also vasodilators, or even anti-depressants (in case of high anxiety or depression ). In addition, we often associate of care for rehabilitation, physiotherapy, massage … of therapy (alternating baths “Scottish” hot and cold).
> If a few weeks after surgery or injury, you feel tingling, it hurts … do not hesitate to consult.
> Take the advice of your physician or orthopedic surgeon (bone specialist) that you took care of a rheumatologist or a specialist in rehabilitation.
> Be patient. The RSD takes several months to heal, sometimes up to two years!