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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

Two Different Diagnosis

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
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terrabella HB User
Two Different Diagnosis

I am beyond confused and am hoping some more experienced RSDers can help me because the doctors here certainly aren't.

About 6 months ago, I twisted my foot while wearing flip flops, and the strap that goes between the big toe and the toe beside it basically dug into my skin, which caused immediate excruciating pain and numbness that eventually subsided after heavy icing. The acute excruciating pain subsided that is. What remained, was a constant low grade form of pain and swelling and a bit of numbness in my last 3 toes. But if I wore my work shoes for very long I would get that acute pain and intense numbness feeling again. Anything that squeezed my foot together seemed to bring about the acute pain and the only shoes I could wear were flip flops. I couldn't even wear socks for the longest time. Eventually though, I was able to wear socks and even tennis shes (though not too long), but still not the dress shoes. In any case, my foot has never returned to "normal."

So I went to see a podiatrist shortly after and he diagnosed me with Morton's Neuroma. He gave me a cortisone shot and told me to come back the next month. The shot did nothing. During this time, my insurance changed and I ended up having to wait another few months before going back and had to see a different doctor, which was fine because I didn't quite believe I had a Morton's Neuroma. The second doctor I saw was an orthopedist and he diagnosed me with RSD. My symptoms do tend to match up with that more, but not entirely. I still have that same minor swelling of the foot (which is basically constant), changes in skin color (injured foot is more red than non-injured foot which seems worse after showering or being on my feet too long), and alternates temperature between hot and cold. The pain doesn't burn though, it's more of an achey feeling, and although it was briefly sensitive to the touch when I very first injured it, that hasn't been an issue since.

My problem is, that I don't know which doctor to believe. I'm not happy with either of them. The ortho actually spent less than 5 minutes with me! I had taken the shoes off both feet so he could see the difference and he barely even looked at them. He finally took hold of my foot when I told him about the MN diagnosis and he squeezed it the same way the podiatrist did, which at that time hurt like hell, but it didn't bother me this time. So he told me it looked like RSD and gave me a compression sock to bring down the swelling and that was it. That was all he said to me. I had to ask the nurse how long I had to wear the sock which is 24/7 except for 30 minutes when showering. The nurse said, according to the doctor's notes, that he didn't need to schedule a follow up appointment and that he thinks this will resolve with the sock. However, all the research I've done (because he gave me no information about RSD), points to a horribly debilitating lifelong condition that has me scared me to death. Treatment mentioned was physical therapy and medication and nerve blocks etcetera, but all this guy did was give me a sock? So my question is, should I be looking for another opinion? And if so, who should I see? Another podiatrist or ortho? Or should I see a pain management specialist or a neurologist? I'm just so confused and I really can't afford to go from doctor to doctor. But at the same time, I really want my foot to get back to normal and don't want to waste any more time since time seems to be of the essence. If anyone has any advice, I'd really appreciate hearing from you.

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Old 02-07-2013, 10:19 AM   #2
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Re: Two Different Diagnosis

I would definitely look for another opinion! I am not diagnosed with CRPS/RSD but I have all symptoms of it. I can't say whether or not you may have it as I'm not an expert but it seems like you may be in more pain if it is indeed RSD and if you are having a flare. Giving you a sock after diagnosing you with RSD without even giving you a referral to a neurologist or rheumatologist for further testing and treatment seems odd to me, so I'd definitely get another opinion. Good luck!

Old 02-08-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
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Re: Two Different Diagnosis

I understand the pain involved with the heat and the swelling. Have you had an x-ray or MRI of the foot and the area in-between the toes to see if there was any damage to ligaments, nerves, veins or the bone. You may have nerve damage to the area. When your flip flop caused this issue did you wrench your back? Just asking as nerve damage to your feet can also be attributed to lower back issues. So maybe 2 things occurred. Good luck

Old 02-14-2013, 10:27 AM   #4
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InPain365 HB User
Re: Two Different Diagnosis

Before I was dx. with RSD, after my 2nd back surgery (A/PLIF) I had to go back to the vascular surgeon(the Dr. that cut me in the front) because my leg was soooo.... swollen. He gave me one of those pressure 'stockings' (looked like a thigh high womanís stocking...) Any way, I wore it for a while & it did help with the swelling(only because it was SO FREAKIN TIGHT) but once I took it off, the swelling came back. Over the course of a few weeks my other leg/foot started to swell, but not so much. So guess what the Dr. did.... he gave me another stocking for the other leg, even he laughed. I drew the line when he pulled out the high heels, LOL. Eventually I took them off & never used them again, they hurt to wear them & they really didn't help because you just can't squeeze the swollenness out of RSD. Ever since then I've been going to a Pain Management Dr. & the only thing they can do is try to take away 'some' of the pain. I would at least start with a PM Dr. for another opinion & take if from there. Sorry it took so long to get to the end but, I think everyone could use a chuckle. Good luck.

Old 10-19-2013, 01:47 PM   #5
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Re: Two Different Diagnosis

Not sure if you've had relief by now but I had a very similar experience - the ortho's treat you like a number and the podiatrists listen more, but not sure if you get a good one! I've been told I may have morton's, RSD and even fibromyalgia in my feet - not possible. I did cortisone shots that irritated my feet and my podiatrist leaning towards surgery since nothing has helped me.
I went to a chiropractor who is doing a deep tissue massage on the neuroma areas and my pain is almost gone. I would really suggest trying this.

Old 10-20-2013, 12:15 PM   #6
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Re: Two Different Diagnosis

How are things going for you now? I know how frustrating it is with doctors! I'm sorry I didn't see this post before. If you haven't already, I would suggest you see a pain management doctor. If it is RSD, most of them have more experience in the diagnosis and treatment of it. Because you are having the color changes in your foot and all the other symptoms. Mine were very similar. I have the color changes, going from hot to cold in my feet. Some days my feet (I have RSD in both feet) would feel like they are on fire, other days they are freezing cold and I cant get them warm. I do get the burning pain but I also have the deep aching that goes with it as well. My sensitivity isn't as bad as others. When I am having a flare up, it hurts for somebody to touch it and at times, even the covers hurt my feet and I will sleep with my foot hanging off the bed so nothing touches it. Anyways, I really do hope that you don't have RSD. Let us know how you are doing. I'm hoping the answer is that all is well with you! Take care of yourself!

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