Mild CRPS?

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A little background. Two years ago I developed an unexplained stress fracture (confirmed with MRI, I'm not a runner, there was no specific injury) and was in a walking boot for 5 months and in a cast for one month (onset was May 2015, stopped treatment November 2015 with three months of PT following). About two months ago (early Feb 2017), my foot started hurting again and it's been confirmed that I do not have a stress fracture or ligament damage with MRI. I also have normal blood flow confirmed through a vascular study, normal bloodwork, and normal bone density. My doctor thinks i might have mild CRPS and is referring me to a pain specialist.

My symptoms: my left foot is noticeably a different temperature (both hotter or colder) at most times from my right foot, and is usually mottled dark purple or bright, bright red. The coloration varies quickly, seemingly with a mind of its own. It's sometimes slightly swollen, and is usually very sensitive to shoes, socks, sheets, shower water, touch, etc. I've been limping a lot but it hurts more at rest than during activity (but hurts more with more activity). I often can't bend my toes due to stiffness, and my left foot is noticeably drier than my right. When looking at the McGill pain scale, I don't think it's all the way up at CRPS levels, but probably more hovering around fracture, plus or minus depending on the day/hour/minute. I haven't had any abnormal hair/nail growth or sweating. My podiatrist gave me a Quell device (kind of a portable TENs) and that helped for two weeks but I'm back in pain.

I've done my internet research and know that a lot of it fits with a (very mild) case of CRPS, but not 100%. I guess I have two questions that I haven't really been able to find good answers to.

1) Is it normal to have mild cases of CRPS/for it to start mildly? Also, it's completely abnormal for it to start a year and a half after the injury event, right?

2) What questions should I have prepared when visiting a pain specialist?

Thank you in advance smile

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi. It doesn't sound mild to be if you are having all of those symptom. Mine got worse from month 4 of it starting. I have it 8 months now after a injury a sprain. The pain gets worse each week. I would strongly advise you get into pain management programme and physio asap to try catch it.

    Keep moving !!!! Everyday. That how you will beat it.

    You were in a boot for a long time they say that sometimes the cause.

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    • Posted

      Ha, dang. I more meant mild as far as pain level goes but I'm still holding out hope it's anything but CRPS. I'm seeing a pain specialist this week and I'm hoping he will start me on a treatment program immediately.

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  • Posted

    I hope you were able to get in with a pain specialist. I agree that the symptoms sound like textbook CRPS. There's not (to my knowledge) really anything else out there that does that. My sincerest hope is that you beat it!

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    • Posted

      Thank you! I did get to a pain specialist and they said it also looked like CRPS. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant, and I stopped responding to Lyrica, so they took me off all medications except for Lidocaine and Tramadol (as needed). I'm happy to say I've only had to take the Tramadol once and that was at the tail end of an 8 hour plane ride. I seem to be in remission currently, though in the past week it's started getting discolored again, but not painful. Overall it just seems to be a big ¯\_(?)_/¯

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    • Posted

      That's wonderful that you seem to be going into remission! I've often wondered if there's some kind of hormonal link to remission of CRPS. I went into remission for a short time as well, long enough for me to have my two beautiful boys. I hope your pain level stays down, and I wish you and your husband luck in making your family.

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