Do the symptoms of crps need to last a certain length of time for dx?

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I am 4 weeks post OP from acl reconstruction with hamstring graft. Are what point does it go from being normal post OP pain to nerve injury/possible crps?

At one week post OP I was in such terrible pain.... I can't even describe it. The nerve block had worn off but I had what felt like burning bone pain in my upper tibia. I also had burning pain down my shin and into my ankle. A lot of swelling and bruising but I assume that was normal for post OP. But oh lord the pain! I had been given 20 tablets of 5 mg oxycodone for post OP. Normally one would knock me out. I took one, didnt touch it. So a half hour later I took another.... I was desperate. I also took a phenergan as it was making me nauseous. It literally did not even touch the pain. I was still in tears. I went to see the surgeon. She mentioned the area that was bruised and that I was having the burning pain in follows the saphenous nerve. But swore she didnt go near it during surgery. She ordered u/s to rule out DVT since I had so much swelling/redness. Drained some fluid and started me on 300 mg gabapentin nightly. Overall I left feeling like I was being a baby and that this must be normal post OP pain and if others can deal with it, I would too.

The bruising continued. It oddly was in two very straight lines, like someone took a ruler and drew them on, down my shin and my ankle. My knee itself was healing beautifully. I continue to have this burning pain. The upper shin pain remained an intense pain like none I have ever had (and I've had natural childbirth lol). The area down my shin and into my ankle feels sunburnt. VERY sensitive to light touch (even clothes). It occasionally feels like pinpricks shooting at the best. And like fire ants are stinging all down my leg at its worst.

I went to another appt the following week but since I assumed this was all normalize, I didn't mention that it still remained. My husband did tell the surgeon but she kind of ignored him and I didnt want to feel like a "weenie" so I didn't push it.

Now, 2 weeks later, and a month post OP, the weird symptoms continue. Only now the pain in my foot is terrible. I feel like I could walk ok on my knee, but my foot hurts too much and that makes me limp. I had forced myself to push through physical therapy regardless of the pain bc I assumed it was normal and again I was being a weenie. But the more range of motion they have me do, the worse it gets. The pain is typically much worse at night and I Cant sleep at all.

But at what point does it become not normal post OP pain and something else instead? My next visit is in 2 weeks and if it isnt better by then, how do I go about asking those questions without coming across as being a baby? Who is best equipped to evaluate for crps? The ortho or a neuro?

0 likes, 6 replies

6 Replies

  • Posted

    You didn't mention where your initial surgery was. If it has spread to an area away from the surgical center seek a pain management doctor first. They understand CRPS and might be able to stop it with nerve blocks if caught early.

    • Posted

      The surgery was on my right knee. The pain is down to my right foot. How early would it need to be caught for nerve blocks to be effective?

  • Posted

    Get doc to refer you to pain management ASAP. PT does not recognize. mine did not believe me. I was amost six months into it. don't wait. it's your body. takes months to get in to see a good one.

    • Posted

      I am pretty sure my ortho does not believe me. I just kind of keep waiting for it to get better. At my appt in 2 weeks, I will be released to return to work. That makes me nervous bc it hurts more the more I do. I am not sure how it will be on my feet all day (I am a nurse).

    • Posted

      go to your primary. tell him what going on. have him refer. specialist do not like to refer to others. please you in med field what would you tell a friend to do. crps is not anything to let slide if you may have. if i would have fought my PT About this in beginning they would maybe would have caught early. now I am payng the price. hope all turns out well with you.

  • Posted

    i wanted to put something else out ortho said to me...only been 3months...this could last a year or rest of my mind you I have not been diagnosed. you could not touch my tremors. been pt for 3months. they were killing me. treating as a sprain. ortho..pretty mugged dismissed me because he could not do surgery. he also stated to me I quote..there is no surgery in the world that can help you.REALLY?? Mind you I have no med clue of what going on other than what this ass said to me. my pain doc agreed.

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