Rare syndrome causes
Treatment available for CRPS
Updated: Monday, 18 May 2009, 12:10 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 18 May 2009, 12:09 PM EDT
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - She broke her foot more than three years ago, and Kathryn Gist is still using crutches.
"The pain basically, it's always there. It's a constant. Nothing really takes the pain away," said Gist.
Still in pain...although her foot has healed.
"I kept getting told the pain would go away in 6 months, every doctor kept saying 6 months and it just kept getting worse," she explained.
Gist was referred to Dr. Tonia Kusumi at the Pain Care Center, who diagnosed her with CRPS, or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, formerly known as RSD.
"CRPS is an abnormal response of nerves following an injury. The injury can be minor, like a needle puncture wound, or maybe more significant like a sprain or fracture," said Dr. Kusumi.
"Even though my bones were healed and my tendons were healed, the nerves were basically overstimulated, they weren't recognizing that everything was healed. So they were sending out all the pain sensors to my brain saying hey this isn't right," added Gist.
"What happens is the nerves don't recover in a normal way. Which leads to pain that is greater than and lasts a lot longer than would be expected for a given injury," said Dr. Kusumi.
Dr. Kusumi said CRPS is rare, affecting about 15,000 Americans each year. Patients typically describe their pain as a continuous burning with increased sensation. Gist described it as "all the pain senses rolled into one." Dr. Kusumi said there are treatments for CRPS.
"The first is physical therapy, and medications that decrease the sensitivity and responsiveness of the nerves. However, some cases are more complicated and will require medications injected into the affected area of the nerves as well as a possible implantation of a device that stimulates the nerves at the level of the spinal cord," said Dr. Kusumi.
So far, Gist has not found an end to her pain. Another injury to the same foot aggravated the CRPS.
"It just seems like with my luck this thing is never ending," said Gist.She is continuing treatment in hopes of getting her normal life back. Dr. Kusumi said every case is different, but early diagnosis and treatment often leads to better outcomes.
Click Here For the Original Article Online.