First of all, you're on the right track and you have a Dr. who acknowledges that RSD exists! Although, he/she could have left out the "bad path" part. You're going through enough right now without worrying about the future. The sooner you can start with pain management, the better. Most people believe the earlier RSD is diagnosed, the better your chances are of stabilizing the progression. At this early stage, I don't think RSD is really doing
anything insofar as causing further injury to your wrist. It's the injury that caused the RSD. I could be wrong and if I am, someone please correct me. It doesn't "spread" in the sense that a rash would spread. It can appear in other parts of the body from another trauma, surgery, or for no apparent reason at all...for many people it doesn't. There's no guarantee one way or the other. For right now, just concentrate on your hand.
I'm not an expert but I do have RSD. My RSD started in my knee after a car accident 2 1/2 years ago. I had extensive knee surgery, including a bone graft, but I had a morphine pump inserted into the knee for 3 days following the graft surgery and it didn't spread or worsen. On the flip side, I have it in my hand, wrist and arm from surgery (never thought to ask about the morphine pump). I was afraid I'd never be able to use my hand again, but I had a series of 5 stellate ganglion blocks and here I am typing away. I wouldn't avoid any necessary surgery because of the possibility of RSD. There are options for surgery and treatments if you develop RSD in another part of your body. Just take it one step at a time. One bit of advice as far as PT... do not let them apply ice and don't do it on your own!!! Ice is the absolute worst thing for RSD and can do more damage. I can't emphasize this enough - NO ICE!!!
There are many, many knowledgeable people here and everyone is willing to give advice and share their experiences. You've found the right place for support. We all remember when we were in your position. If you have any
questions, ask!! Someone will answer. Good luck with your pain management doc, let us know how you're doing and what procedures you're going through. It's all very confusing at first
If you don't mind sharing, where are you in NY?