I've Been Diagnosed With Cprs But Don't Think It's Correct.

I've read up on CPRS in Wikipedia and read so many heartbreaking stories on here about the pain that sufferers experience and I just cannot relate it to my case.
Brief history; back in August I had a fall and X Rays showed a little crack on the scaphoid of my left hand. Two casts, a splint and a CT Scan later and I was told the fracture had healed but the hand and fingers were swollen and a sort of blue colour. The fingers were arched and stiff and I couldn't make a fist and my thumb was/is virtually rigid, sensitive to contact on the lower joint and a bit tingly and numb between the joint and the tip. The orthopaedic doctor said that he thought it was CPRS and referred me to an upper limb consultant who concurred.
Having had masses of time on my hands I'd done some reading on it and everything I'd read talked about the "severe burning pain at the injury site" and I have NEVER had pain like that. Out of seven symptoms for Stage 1 I found on Wiki I think I've got two; definitely no sweating, rapid hair and nail growth or muscle spasms. When I mentioned this to the consultant he said that the pain descriptions were all from the extreme end of the spectrum and that I shouldn't read up about them as I would unduly worry myself.
Due, I believe, to weakness from over three months of not being used, I've pulled something in my left shoulder and when I do something it doesn't like the pain is eye wateringly excruciating for about twenty seconds or so. At night it has just started to become painful enough to wake me and I need a full Ibuprofen and Paracetamol dose to enable me to get back to sleep.
I would be very grateful if any sufferers on here could tell me if they recognise any of the above as early stage CPRS symptoms or do you think I'm just in denial at the prospect of having such an unpleasant condition. I don't want to waste more months being treated for a condition I may not have!
slartybart53 slartybart53
4 Responses Dec 13, 2012

Quick question, you must have had an accident for it to be type 1, how long after the incident, no matter how minor, did the symptoms of CPRS start? Truthful answer and I can try to tel you if you have it or not. k.

Hello slartybart53,First off, I really hope that you do not have CRPS. It is a bugger to deal with if you do. And yes, at first my symptoms were slow in coming on; similar to a degree to what you describe concerning your night time pain. Secondly, CRPS is kind of sneaky sometimes in that the swelling comes and goes for some of us CRPS patients initially, or the swelling travels within the region around where the symptoms first occurred. Also, as a precaution, you may want to try some physical therapy, some mirror box therapy and get some hand, foot, & shoulder cards to keep your brain communicating properly with the nerves in your limbs. My Physical Therapist has said time and again that these things are of first importance in my case. As for you, if do indeed have CRPS, these things may indeed send it into remission, since you would be aggressively treating your symptoms early on! My hope is that you don't have this condition. Please, keep us posted. And here's to hoping that you don't have CRPS!!Have a Happy New Year!

Thanks for your suggestions UncleEkipS; I'll mention them to my therapist at my next session as they can't do any harm if I don't have it and they could well make a huge difference if I do.
Thanks again and a Happy New Year to you too.

Thank you for your kind response even if it did carry news I didn't particularly want to hear!
Since I penned my initial post I have read of "The Budapest Criteria" that the Royal College of Physicians adopted earlier this year. It sets out four points that must ALL be satisfied for a diagnosis of CRPS to succeed. The first one reads as follows:-
"The presence of pain that is disproportionate to the causative event."
Right now I'm not feeling any pain at all; if the bottom of my thumb gets knocked it hurts proportionately and if I raise my arm I get pain in my shoulder that is in line with the pain that a "frozen shoulder" should generate. These are pains that the physiotherapist I'm now seeing says are what one would expect to see in someone who has been in a cast or splint for about three months
I believe the criteria are not met as the first test is not "passed" and my physio feels the same from the symptoms I present. The arching and the skin colour still concern me a little but I'm gradually getting more function back in my hand which would be contrary to the progressive nature of CRPS.
I will try to keep my mind open to all possibilities but it is difficult when there is an outcome one particularly doesn't want!
Thanks again for your comments and I have no problem at all with their cryptic nature; it just encourages me to widen my reading beyond "Hitchhikers"!
Happy Christmas.

Please understand this is an initial response to your post from a CRPS sufferer of just over 10 years. I am working on a better response relating to your worries about the condition you describe. Initially, I ask you to understand that a remote diagnosis is really difficult. It does, unfortunately, sound like that old fiend CRPS and your doctors' diagnosis is probably correct.
My initial advice is that DENIAL might be your worst enemy. The earlier this can be attended to with effective pain management and other treatments the better. It is usually the other way round - a patient is certain they have CRPS and not able to get the doctors to make a definitve diagnosis accompanied by appropriate treatment. You really need to action this or find a diagnosis that you are happy with.
Given your webname, I presume you are a Douglas Adams fan - . Thinking this way may help. It (CRPS) is probably akin to one of the wierd things that happen in The Long Dark Tea-Time of The Soul - you have a lounge wedged in the stairway for a while - it will shift spatially if work on it. slartybart53, you could be constructing glaciers again sooner rather than later if you let things flow the way you need to. I hope you don't mind this being so cryptic.