Help! Following bunion surgery 12 weeks ago (scarf akin) I suspected something was not quite right. I was in chronic pain following the surgery (foot felt like it was in a mangle followed by shooting nerve pains up my leg)I ended up in A&E 3 days later as I couldn't manage the pain. It was checked over and I was given stronger pain killers and told everyone had a different pain tolerance. I then returned to my own GP 3 weeks later with similar pain and my foot was red hot to touch - I was referred back to the hospital with a suspected "infection" (I also had a temperature) but after an X-ray and blood tests was given more pain killers and told I was slow to recover, everything was okay and to try moving and flexing a little more.
Fast forward to week 13, I am having pain with every step (especially under the ball of my foot) and walk with a limp, my foot turns pink after only 2 minutes of standing and it feels like the blood has been cut off from the ankle and is been shoved into a shoe 2 sizes smaller than mine even when I'm not wearing any. My foot feels burning hot on an evening. I do not have any difficulty sleeping (probably as I am so exhausted from getting through the day). On a positive note ... the swelling seems to have gone down and I have regained most of the movement in my foot and toes (the big toe does not go down as far as it used to though). When I wake in a morning my foot looks and feels pretty normal, albeit it a little stiff and I think it's finally going to be okay and then the same symptoms begin - I am beginning to think I am going mad!!!!!!!!!
I insisted on getting an appointment with my surgeon - who has now taken me seriously and referred me to the "pain clinic" for testing.
I am getting more and more anxious and fed up. Anyone any ideas or anything positive? I am sure I am not over-reacting and I am driving my husband and family insane (who have been very patient so far).
Well getting seen by a pain management dr. is a step in the right direction. He/she should be able to tell if it is indeed CRPS and get you started on a treatment plan.
That's about all you can do right now. Wait and see what they have to say.
Thank you for your response. I noticed from another of your posts you were diagnosed with RSD following bunion surgery; were you experiencing the same sort of symptoms? My main worry is my foot goes red after only 2 minutes of standing and feels as though the circulation has been cut off - it is also very hot on an evening - which are all classic symtoms. The only comfort I get is elivating. My actual foot does look okay though (apart from the redness). The only comfort I get is by elivating.
After your reply I followed up with the pain clinic to to determine when the appt could be, to be informed "upto 6 weeks", as I am already 13 weeks post-surgery I am worried it could be too late?? It could be 5 months before I even see a consultant let alone start nerve blocks if this is the case. I am considering going private to get it seen straight away.
How are you doing now? I've also been told acupuncture helps with the pain.
Although I have had a boat load of surgeries, bunion was not one of them. So I don't know the recover from that. BUT, I have had quite a few on my ankle and some of your syptoms are normal and some are not.
I would see if there is any way to get you in to the pain clinic earlier. Either private (are you outside the US?) or have your GP try and get you an appt. earlier.
With every surgery on my foot/ankle, the color change was there, even before the CRPS. It happens, especially in the shower or if the leg is down for awhile. The burning pain you are experiencing is something to be concerned about. Sometimes nerves can be entraped in scar tissue or inflamed and can cause some of the same type of symtoms and it is not CRPS. The pain clinic would be the best way to know for sure. I had many other syptoms other than what you are describing. But some were the same as well. It is hard to really know sometimes what is what. Now that I've been dx'd with CRPS, I have a hard time knowing what is a nerve pain that is new and perhaps unrelated to what I shoud just chalk up to CRPS.
I still have my issues. My CRPS will probably never go away at this point. My OS at the time ignored my symptoms and by the time I got my diagnosed it was too late. Well, actually, things were starting to improve until I had to have another surgery.
Keep on top of the clinic. Ask if you can be on a cancellation list so they can call you if someone cancels. Get your GP to call. Do what you can to get seen earlier rather than later. And remember, this could be something other than CRPS, so don't worry too much. Keep your foot elevated and keep in touch with your surgeon as well.
Good luck and keep me updated.
Thank you for your replies and sorry to keep bothering you!
I do have other symptoms, pins and needles, muscle weakness (even though I haven't done much at all but I was on crutches for a long time because of the swelling and did very little for 10 weeks), my knee also hurts but I am told it is because I am walking funny,however I think we all know our own bodies and it is sounding more and more like RSD. Following your advice I have decided to go private - it will cost a fortune but hey I'd rather have my health - I have to explore all options and quick; I am seeing a pain consultant in a week and should I be diagnosed the treatment could start the following week. Could you tell me how your's was diagnosed? - that intrigues me because I cannot pinpoint where the pain is - and which nerve's were given the nerve blocks? All a bit baffling and I want to make sure I am been treated properly.
I am sorry to hear you are still having issues. I have been looking into acupuncture - I've heard it can really help with RSD, Chronic pain and all these issues. Have you tried that? I suppose you have tried everything but if you haven't why not give it a go? I will try it once I've tried whatever the medics do to me.
Well keep smiling too and you don't know how much your posts are helping me - it seems to be a lonely road at the moment.
I was diagnosed based on what my PT saw over time, my OS saw over time, and what the PM dr. saw.
The block is not a nerve block in one nerve, it is called a sympathetic nerve block and they give it to you in your back. Some people they help, some it does nothing for. But if it can help, then it is good to get it done sooner than later.
If it is a nerve issue, which it could be related to the surgery, then the dr. would determine what nerve and could treat that as well. It all really depends on the diagnosis and if your PM dr. suspects RSD or not.
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Re: RSD / CPS following bunion surgery??
If you get a diagnosis through the private doctor, you may be fast-tracked through your healthcare system for treatment. I looked into switching to a different pain management clinic (in the US), because of my frustration with getting a particular appointment, and the clinic I researched gave priority to certain conditions, including certain cancers and CPRS of six months' duration or less. The medical community recognizes the importance of early intervention, and you might be able to save some costs if you are able to have procedures done through your health system.
Thanks for the advice, I went back to another GP - not the Surgeon. He was very good and whilst he did not give me a "diagnosis" there and then - he suspects it too and has prescribed me with "Lyrica". I am now 2 days in on this medication and it has taken the edge of it (although experiencing some other side effects but hey). I am having some acupuncture tomorrow and waiting to be referred to a pain clinic (hopefully will be seen in the next 10 days) so should have access to physio, acupucture, treatment etc.
Trying to remain positive and not focus on this too much, difficult as it is - wish me luck!
The following user gives a hug of support to leighsfoot: SweetPeainSF (04-29-2012)
How are you all? Back again ...... well I have now seen a pain consultant (Wed) - not a very happy hour of my life, whilst I have a lot of the symptoms (but not all ... as yet) lots like I will be treated for CRPS. I also saw someone else today (private) for a second opinion (very similar story). Other than the normal stuff of massage, phys, (now capsaicin cream) discussed nerve blocks. I could have one on my foot next week (as the pain seems to be contained there at the minute), which could work / give me temporary relief to do a bit more and / or go for the nerve block to the back. All very confusing and nerve wracking - pardon the pun! The lumbar one should be done within the next 3 weeks so positive or not? Heck.
Can I just ask about meds? Anyone got them right ye? - I am learning fast that it is all about managing the pain and getting the cocktail correct for you? I have been taking the Lyrica for 5 days as instructed, not much relief to be honest and is making me even more misearable and knocking me out. Any suggestions???
Thank you ever so much from over here in the very rainy UK! X
I was told to never get a shot in the location of the rsd. I did that once and it got much worse. Much worse. Go for the back block.
As or meds, I don't think there are any 2 people on the same cocktail. It all depends on your side effects and how you do. Some people do great on Lyrica, some don't. Lyrica is one of the main meds they use. You have to up the dose slowely though. I was allergic to it, so am on something else....same category though that does the same thing. None of then are fun to be on. They all have side effects. It's just what do you do the best on.
Hopefully the blocks will work and knock the whole thing into remission for you though.
Do you know what? I was thinking along the same lines and I don't want to "upset" it even more. I am also very, very nervous about having any surgery done whatsoever now so the thought of a foot block followed by a block to the SN fill me with a huge amount of comfort! The people that know more about it are the ones going through it / living with it - so I will take the advice which seems to be far more reliable. As for the Lyrica - well I suppose I have only been taking it for 5 days and my emotional state at the moment is not the best as it is all a lot to take in. It did seem to ease that horrible pain and I could acutally sit at the dinner table with he family and put my foot on the floor the whole time without any pain, it also eased the burning foot / ankle on a night to a certain extent.
Thank you once again, I'll keep taking the tablets as they say!!
How are you both? Well I've managed to convince my surgeon to miss out the foot block and go straight for the lumbar (this is not the done thing over here and v rare). I go in next week. As I am only 4 months post original foot op I figured if I was to stand half a chance - this is what I have to do - and if someone is willing to listen and help then I have to take it. I am obviously very, very nervous beyond belief - what can I expect other than a warm leg / foot and a bit of relief if I am lucky? So anxious in case something else goes wrong ....
KLana - I noticed on your other post you require more surgery? I'm sorry to hear this and whilst I cannot offer any advice - you know we are all behind you 110% and wishing you all the luck in the world right now - you deserve it. I'm willing you well from accross the pond!
Good Luck for Tuesday - try not to be nervous - easier said than done. It won't help matters - let everyone know how you get on??
Have you read the book "The MindBody Prescription" by Dr Sarno?? I am / have been trying everything (like we all do - learning fast) and will give anything a go. It's worth a read - won't go into it too much. A lady from another site recommended it - she said she has now been pain free for 6 years.
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Re: RSD / CPS following bunion surgery??
I have my second sympathetic nerve block next week and finally a physical therapy appointment in three weeks! It took me five weeks to even get an appointment; major problem finding someone who treats this condition.
I had a consult with a pain psychologist a couple weeks ago, and the appointment actually made me feel better. I am also receiving acupuncture appointments: my fourth appointment was today. Up to 1500 mg of neurontin: trying to be aggressive and get out in front of this awful monster but pain is increasing unfortunately!
Last edited by Administrator; 05-17-2012 at 01:14 PM.
You sound as if you are in the same stages as me; I had my fourth lot of acupuncture today too and waiting to see a psychologist. I have also been doing exercises in front of the mirror to help with retaining mobility. Physio / massage / drinking loads of water is so important for the circulation, I have found a really good physio who has worked with patients suffering from CRPS - she told me to hop on my right foot (good foot) and then hop on my left foot (bad foot) - she may as well have said "stick your head in the oven for ten minutes"! My face dropped, but I took a deep breath and hopped ..... it wasn't so bad. She then told me to do a few other things - all painful but as I keep telling myself - there is nothing technical wrong with my foot so keep doing it. Anyway I have been advised to do the following - don't know if any will help you whilst you get your appointment?
Walking on the treadmill
Resistance (with weights)
I managed a two hour drive today (my car isn't automatic either) - my leg shook 4 weeks ago, and previously I couldn't even pick my daughter up from school (the school is only 0.3 miles from my house) - I have managed it there and back this week. The pain is still there but I am more relaxed when walking (instead of cringing with every step) and I think knowing that the foot has heeled, and as the physio said - I am not going to damage it - just make it stronger is actually pushing me on.