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Is "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome" Real?

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Old 04-30-2013, 03:45 PM   #1
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Is "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome" Real?

My mother continues to have inflammation and discomfort three years after her Stryker Triathlon Total Knee Implant and the doctors can't seem to provide her with any answers.

Although her blood reactivity test shows a "moderate reactivity" to nickel, doctors deny that her issues could be caused by the less than 1% of nickel in her knee implant. And although her blood reactivity shows high for Cadmium, doctors deny that there could be any connection to Cadmium and her knee implant.

So at last resort, they are telling her that she may have may have what's called CRPS, or "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome" and she should see a pain clinic for treatment.

Is CRPS a real diagnosis? or is this a name that doctors come up with when they don't know the answers?

If anyone has been diagnosed with CRPS after a Total Knee, or if anyone is willing to share their experiences regarding cadmium or nickel exposure in regards to a orthopedic implant, I would greatly appreciate your feedback.

Thank you.

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Old 05-01-2013, 09:55 AM   #2
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Re: Is "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome" Real?

Well, unfortunately, CRSP is a very real diagnosis and I pray they are wrong with hers. What kind of symptoms does she have? Usually with RSD/CRPS, the main symptom is burning pain, deep aching pain, and hypersensitivity to touch. There can be changes in circulation. My foot changes colors to a pretty red or a bluish purple. Mine started in my ankle after a tear in the ligament and within a month was diagnosed with CRPS. Mine is still mild but it has spread from my foot to my other foot and basically my entire left side. I dont know anything though about there being any changes in lab tests. What kind of symptoms does she have. Oh, inflamation is one of the symptoms as well. Sprains and strains is a common factor in getting this wicked disease as well as surgery!

Old 05-01-2013, 12:12 PM   #3
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Re: Is "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome" Real?

Thanks for your reply. She has what I call a lower grade inflammation in her knee, aching and some soreness on the outside edge of her right knee. She's taking anti-inflammatories which help a little but not completely. Her bone scan comes out normal. As does her x-rays, physical exams, aspirate culture, and ESR/CRP blood test. The only suspect is the nickel reactivity which shows "moderate" on her MELISA test, but doctors don't seem to suspect this is an issue... they say that if she had a true nickel allergy that her symptoms would be more full blown than they are. If you look at her knee, it's not red or puffy, however it does feel a little warmer to the touch than her other knee. The doctors exams show a full range of motion, etc. On the question of whether the nickel could be causing her problems we are still skeptical on this, even though the doctors can't prove it's causing the inflammation, on the same token we don't see that they're able to rule it out either. If there's a possibility that the nickel could be causing her low grade inflammation, I think the doctors aren't able to verify this, which makes it frustrating.

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cadmium, implant, nickel, polyethylene, tkr

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