I was wondering if any of my fellow spineys have dealt with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I know this condition is not specific to spine patients, but it is a known complication of spinal surgery and is more likely to occur in chronic pain patients so I was hoping someone on the board would have some experience with it.
To make a long story short, I am usually a lumbar spiney but following my surgery I developed shoulder pain and weakness. Testing revealed damage to the brachial plexus of unknown etiology because there was no trauma. It's possible the injury occurred on the OR table, or it could have been triggered by a virus. In addition to the brachial plexopathy I was also diagnosed with RSD in my arm. My guess is that c-spine people may be familiar with this type of thing because brachial plexus issues can come from the cervical spine (but my MRI showed my neck is fine).
I have done as much research as I can into RSD and have basically found that the condition is not well understood and there are no standard treatment guidelines. Right now I'm being treated with physical therapy and waiting to see if that will help. As we all know from dealing with spine pain, it is overwhelming trying to navigate the medical system and to make treatment decisions. If anyone has any information or personal experience they could share I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!