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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board
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Old 09-03-2003, 10:46 PM   #1
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SFangel HB User
Talking RSD in leg & braces or immobilizers

Hi,

I have had RSD in my left knee/leg for 2 years. I am interested in wearing a knee or leg brace or immobilizer to help me walk and reduce the pain of RSD.

Do you wear a knee or leg brace or immobilizer? Which one? How does it help you?

Thanks.

 
Old 09-04-2003, 04:07 PM   #2
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Nakona HB User
Cool

SF,
I have RSD in my left hand. It is broken in 3 places, hence the cast for the past 2 months. My ortho is planning on leaving the cast on for quite a few more months because the breaks haven't healed......at all.

Thr reason is because of my hand and fingers being immobilized I have developed severe osteoporosis throughout my hand. Its a side effect of immobilizing a limb with RSD.

I'm not a doc, but I know that if I'd had pins put in my hand instead of a cast put on it, I would more than likely not be nearly as advanced with this monster as I am. You can research the side effects, but everything I've read and everyone I've talked to knowledgable in this disease has stated that you should NOT immobilize a limb with RSD if there is any other alternative.

Because of this cast being on so long, the osteoporosis will take me many months to get to a point that my bones will have advanced enough to start repairing the breaks. With my experience I would strongly suggest against it, but I have no degree.

I just hope you can find something to help you without making it worse.

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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. ---Unknown
Nakona
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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. ---Unknown
Nakona

 
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Old 09-04-2003, 05:57 PM   #3
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Hi, nakona

I had 3 non-displaced fractures in my left knee. These fractures were not detected right away by doctors so I had to walk on these fractures for 2 months. When doctors finally detected my fractures, they put my left leg in a cast for a month.

Doctors claim my fractures healed right. I believe that if they had detected them right away, I would not have walked on them for 2 months and I would not have developed RSD in my left knee/leg.

I wonder why the fractures in your left hand did not heal. Is it because of the RSD or is it because you did not get the right fracture treatment or is it because your hand was immobilized for so long? Does your fracture pain, if you have any, trigger your RSD pain? This happens to me. Any pain in my knee/leg from an injury triggers my RSD pain.

I do not really know what osteoporosis is. However, I am sure you would rather not have it, as you have enough to deal with because of your RSD.

What did doctors not put pins in your hand? I guess it is because your fractures are non-displaced.

You are right, I should not immobilize my leg with a cast. However, I sometimes use a knee/leg immobilizer, which I can remove whenever I want. I just use this immobilizer when I walk because it seems to reduce the number of falls I have. I hope I can find a knee/leg brace that helps me walk, reduces the number of falls, BUT that does not immobilize my leg and does not cause my RSD to flare up.

 
Old 09-05-2003, 05:19 PM   #4
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SF,
I actually have 2 non-diplaced fractures and one that isn't. My 3rd, 4th, and 5th metacarpals are broken severely. Not sure why the ortho didn't put pins in. I think he's regretting that now.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become extremely porous, are subject to fracture, and heal slowly. In my case, the breaks had't healed AT ALL after six weeks. It is a side effect of complete immobilization of an RSD limb. It came on fast and hard. I haven't had a bone density test yet, but you could see a very, very faint outline of the bones in my hand. It will take me many months now just to rebuild the bones so they will begin healing. However, if the cast stays on I may as well never consider the piano.

The pain from my fractures does bring on RSD pain. Here lately I have even been blessed by getting a new dimension to all of this mess....I now get a deep, severe pain in the bones of my arm. It gets my attention like a muscle cramp, but stays for days.

I'm hoping the hand specialist I have an appointment with in a couple weeks will have some good ideas. The atrophy is spreading no matter how much physical therapy I do. It would seem that my actual nerves are atrophying along with the muscles and tendons. Go figure!

I sincerely hope that you do find something to help you with your legs. I know its hard to find anything that helps with this monster. Usually something that does actually help has a bite of it's own.

My prayers are with you. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif



------------------
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. ---Unknown
Nakona
__________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. ---Unknown
Nakona

 
Old 09-05-2003, 07:17 PM   #5
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Hi, nakona

I hope your fractures will heal well and soon. You do not need the problems caused by your fractures in addition to those caused by your RSD.

Thanks for the information about osteoporosis. If I remember well, your osteoporosis occurred because your arm was immobilized too long. I guess the fractures and RSD could have also caused you to develop osteoporosis.

My leg was immobilized in a cast for a month but I guess this is not a long enough time for my leg to develop osteoporosis.

What is a bone density test, how is it done, and how does it help diagnose osteoporosis? Excuse my ignorance.

I also have deep severe pain in the bones of my RSD leg. Besides the RSD and bone pain, I also have ligament pain, muscle pain, etc.

I guess you have atrophy in spite of doing physical therapy because your RSD is active. I have the same problem. I wish doctors would understand why RSD patients have trouble building muscle with physical therapy because they have active RSD.

I did not know nerves and tendons could atrophy. I wonder if this atrophy is caused by RSD. Can ligaments also atrophy?

You said: "Usually something that does actually help has a bite of it's own." I think that is very true.

Thanks for your prayers.

 
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