Hi I am new to this forum but am in desperate need of a support group to talk to other people who are going through what I'm going through. I had a sever sprain to my right ankle and right knee in March 2012 while at work. As you may know I've had to deal with workers comp (which has been an nightmare). I didn't like the treatment I was getting from the WC doctor so I exercised my right to go to my own doctor. I did that and he started me in physical therapy and sent me to see an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon referred me to a foot and ankle specialist (as he suspected there were other issues besides a sprain) BUT WC would not allow me to see the specialist. they ended up sending me for an IME with their doctor. this doctor stated I had reached MMI and was faking the injury. Rather than letting me see the specialist WC ended up sending me back to the orthopedic surgeon 4 additional times and finally he gave in and said I can't help you and can't see you any longer and if they won't let you see the foot and ankle specialist it's between you and them and he released me to go back to work. At this point I wasn't sure what to do so I tried to go back to work being in pain daily. I then hired an attorney and my attorney filed the paperwork to force them to allow me to see the specialist I had been referred too. At this point they sent me to another company doctor (not the specialist) for another IME and an FCE. I had both of those done and before we could get the results from that visit my attorney was able to force them into letting me see the specialist. I saw the specialist thinking that I had what my physical therapist thought was tarsel tunnel (spelling not sure) but ended up being diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and he removed me from work again. I was sent BACK to the same company doctor that did the first IME and and he concurred that I had signs of RSD but I had reached MMI and could go back to work on sedantary duty. UGH!!! So that this point the specialist referred me to a pain management physician. I saw the physician and was immediately scheduled for a right lumbar sympathetic nerve block and put on Cymbalta 30 mg for the first 2 weeks then 60 mg thereafter. I can't tell that the gabbapentin or the cymbalta are doing anything for me at all. I still have severe pain daily. hurts to walk (can't walk very long or far), can't sit for long and can't lay for long. hard to sleep it's a nightmare. anything touches my foot or my lower leg up to my right knee it kills me. I finally had the first right lumbar sympathetic block today (actually 7 hours ago) and the only thing that's happened since is that my foot changed to a pinkish color, was warm and my leg is week. the pain is still present (no better and no worse) and I'm losing hope. I'm staying depressed and bored and just feel as if I'm only existing not really adding any value to anything. My domestic partner and I have been together for almost 16 years and he has been GREAT but I feel so bad that he's having to go through this. We've always been very active and not had to worry about money until now. Forgot to state that. Work Comp has not paid me for almost 3 months so on top of EVERYTHING else I have to deal with financial issues. Has anyone else gone through what I'm going through? did anything help you and how did you deal with it? Any advice/support would be greatly appreciated.
The following user gives a hug of support to JohnathanM: dedwards (10-28-2012)
I'm sorry that you have to deal with Workmen's Comp because they are a pain to have to deal with. I didn't have to deal with them for myself but my husband did and I can't remember how many months he went without pay. He filed for unemployment and received it and had to repay it from his WC's settlement. Just keep hanging in there and forging forward until you win.
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Re: New to CRPS and this board
Hi there -- welcome! I contracted CRPS after a back surgery and was lucky to be diagnosed quickly (90 days or so), which is a very important factor in potentially beating this stupid disease. My first lumbar block took my affected foot from red and swollen (and seven degrees warmer than the other foot) to gray, cold and dead-looking. After the second injection, my toes started to pink up after about two weeks. I like to think of the blocks as being like restarting your computer, and you may not see improvement right away.
I was put on an aggressive medication schedule: 3600 mg neurontin, 75 mg nortriptyline, plus tramadol for the pain. I am also taking Vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, and omega oil supplements. Of course, you should discuss any supplements with your physician.
If you can find a physical therapist who specializes in CRPS, I would highly recommend seeking physical therapy. Apparently, hot and cold water baths were used in the past, but I didn't encounter this controversial practice. My physical therapist helped me slowly, slowly desensitize my affected foot. She also gave me some reading recommendations. The most valuable tool she taught me was to use gentle massage to reassure the affected body part that there is no external threat. The massage's positive feedback to my foot has helped me when I feel a flare of pain coming on.