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I fractured and dislocated my left wrist on December 5th,2016. In the emergency room my BP went down to 60/30, clearly I was in shock. My wrist was reset under Propofol, and I woke up casted. That night my forearm and hand swoll up and the pain was as excruiating as the original fracture. At this point I should tell you that I am white, female, and 54, with mild spina bifida, (non union at the L4 and L5). Apparently, these are all predisposing factors to CRPS. I returned to emerg, they cut the cast and the Orthopedic sugeon prescribed morphine 1mg, up to 3 tabs for pain, Naprosyn for the inflammation. I thought that would be that. I have never broken a bone before, so I didn't know what to expect. I was in exteme pain. I continued to use the max pain medication around the clock. I had my arm elevated to shoulder height 24/7. I was icing the cast for hours at a time. The swelling continued, and I kept asking for refills of the pain medications. The orthopedic surgeon never twigged on CRPS, and he never treated me for it. Three cast changes for pain, x-rays at each visit. I went to him a week after the the cast finally came off. I said, I am still in pain, I'm so swollen, I can't move my fingers or wrist. I was told to give it time and see him in 6 months, if I needed to.
I was desparate, I went to my GP and he diagnosed CRPS and prescribed Amitriptiline 1mg at bedtime. I was hesitant, how could an antidepressant relive the swelling and pain, and sensitivity? Actually it did ease some of the ache, but the relief was short term, so I increased the dose to twice a day. The pain and swelling was still bad I started taking over the counter Codiene for the pain. I then took myself to a different hospital for a second opinion. A doctor their confirmed that it was CRPS. She prescribed Lyrica three times a day for the pain, and agreed with my increase in Amyiriptiline. To decrease the sensitivity to my arm and hand, I used a silky textured long elegant glove. It works. The glove reduces the swelling because its has lycra in the glove and the silky allows me to touch and massage my forearm, wrist and fingers. Why don't they make a TEDS for arms, like they do for legs? The Lyrica is a miracle, most of the pain is gone. My muscles feel like they go into spasm as an over reaction to activity. I am still swollen and movement is stiff. I push myself continuosly to rotate and flex and extend my wrist, and stretch and squeeze my fingers. If I do too much my hand tendons tell me the next day or hours after activity. I think I need to be on Cortisone and Fosimax to help reduce the swelling and prevent further bone loss. This is going to be a long recovery, and it seems that most Dr's don't really know what or how to treat CRPS.
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