Posttraumatic Dystrophy

Post-traumatic dystrophy. A disease that is relatively unknown in the Netherlands, but which affects about 20,000 people in the Netherlands. A very painful, annoying, often misunderstood condition.

What is Post Traumatic Dystrophy?

Post-traumatic dystrophy is a very painful condition/complication that can arise after surgery or injury to a limb, such as arm, wrist, leg, knee, foot, etc.

The symptoms

The area around the injury becomes very painful and can change color ranging from blue to purple to white. This is often because blood flow no longer runs smoothly. The consequence of this poor blood circulation is that the muscles can subsequently shrivel due to insufficient food supply (atrophy) or that the bone loses calcium and becomes brittle. The area that is painful is often larger than where the injury or surgery took place. (For example, when surgery is done on a toe, the entire foot is painful). Other symptoms may also occur, such as swelling, various differences in skin temperature, but also sweating and nerve damage.

Diagnosis and Treatment

It is difficult for doctors to make a diagnosis based on X-rays or scans, because it is difficult to see. The doctor will have to make the diagnosis in conjunction with the patient’s pain complaints. It is very important that it is done in the short term, because then the treatment is more effective and everything takes effect more quickly. It is said that if the pain complaints decrease within a year, then there is a good chance of recovery. After that the chance becomes smaller and smaller.
There are various treatments for Post Traumatic Dystrophy. This includes increasing oxygen uptake by the muscles. This can be done using an effervescent tablet or an ointment that is applied.
There are also other treatment options, including physiotherapy and occupational therapy . Because the muscles that are affected hardly use them, there is a high risk of cramping. The hand or foot no longer wants to stretch and this severely hinders the patient in his daily activities. Physio is used to try as much as possible to get the muscles working again and occupational therapy to help yourself with these complaints.

Pain relief

Post-traumatic dystrophy is really very painful. The patient has constant nagging pain. Pain relief can be given for this. This can be done in various ways. By means of certain painkillers, anti-depressants, via electrodes that stimulate the nerves, and a catheter that is inserted for medication.
For detailed information about these treatments and about Post Traumatic Dystrophy, please click on the link below.

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