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05/16/2012 01:29 PM

RSD and surgery

emilycarol33
emilycarol33  
Posts: 40
Member

I want to ask a questions regarding RSD and surgery. I have read and heard that having surgery can make RSD worse or even spread.

I have RSD in my right ankle, slowly spreading to my right knee. I have a tumor in my right ankle, which I need to have removed. They postponed my surgery due to the RSD, and I have a surgery date set for 6 weeks from now.

I have to have the tumor removed because it has eroded some bone away already. I'm just scared because of what I've heard about RSD and surgery. Does anyone have any knowledge on this subject?

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05/16/2012 04:36 PM
maddiesgram
maddiesgram  
Posts: 2330
Senior Member

Hi Emilycarol33,

You have read what does seem to be true about surgery especially on a limb with RSD and that it can cause a spread. There are things that can be done to try to help it not spread, but one is probably not going to happen due to money. That would be to have a nerve block for a couple of days before and after the surgery to prevent a large amount of pain from, I guess, blasting your brain and making it get excited and spread the RSD. So, what you can do instead is to have a block done along with whatever other anesthesia they plan to use on you. However this is not a sure thing at all in keeping a spread away.

I had my little toe and part of my foot amputated summer before last right where I had the RSD. I did cause a spread into the rest of my foot and other foot. Then the other foot got better for about a year, but then it spread again and into my legs as well. I will never know what spreads I might have had without the surgery, but I did have the spread into my foot and other foot with a couple of weeks after my surgery and I do think the surgery caused it. There is a study where taking Vit. C in a fairly large dose kept some wrist fracture patients from getting RSD, which shows somehow Vit. C being effective to a degree. I did take fairly large doses of Vit. C for a month before and after my surgery, but it obviously didn't help me.

I know it's scary, but if you absolutely have to have the surgery, then you just do. One thing to do is to keep the pain down as much as possible. Do you have a good RSD doctor? If so, ask them about what kind of block might help for your surgery. Next week I'm having major dental surgery and although it's far from my lower extremity RSD, I'm somewhat terrified that it might cause spread to my upper extremities. My pain doctor has simply said to tell them to have a good block done prior to doing the surgery so that "my brain will not recognize the surgery happening". If you could talk to the surgeon and also the anesthesiologist before the surgery about how to prevent a spread of the RSD, that would be best. Make sure the team of all of you has a plan for that. Then, if you feel like you have a good plan, you'll have to try to stay calm as much as possible as I think emotional stress makes it all worse. Ask your RSD doctor about Vit. C, also.

I sure wish there were more ideas I could give you, or better yet an answer to keep you from getting a spread, but there is no way to assure you of that. Please let us know how it goes and what you decide to do, as we'll all learn from one another in these things. I hope it goes really well!

gail


05/19/2012 02:28 PM
emilycarol33
emilycarol33  
Posts: 40
Member

Thanks so much for your reply, gail. I am going to talk to the dr. about doing a block during the surgery to decrease the chances of making things worse. My surgery date is set for June 26th...

Emily


05/19/2012 07:17 PM
snoopyemt
 
Posts: 325
Member

My doctor has told me if I ever have surgery, I have to have 2 days of ketamine prior to it, and then get ketamine during surgery as part of my anesthesia, if possible. I dont know if they could at least give it to your during surgery but it might be worth looking into.

05/19/2012 08:13 PM
maddiesgram
maddiesgram  
Posts: 2330
Senior Member

Snoopyemt,

Yes, I read about that somewhere yet summer before last when I had surgery and asked about this, I might have as well said that I needed surgery on Mars! The extra days in the hospital, etc., which would be extremely expensive was no doubt the reason. I was just told that that would be overkill and not neccesary because it didn't matter how long the brain was tricked into believing there was no pain, as long as it was. I had the surgery and got a spread. I just kept thinking "What if?" after mine spread. I might could have had a life with no pain IF? I'll never know and now it's water under the bridge, but if you know any papers or anything where I could show this to a doctor if I have future surgery, please let me know. Actually I am having surgery this week, but it's "just" dental surgery. Ugh!

gail

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