Symptoms of RSDS can include:
The condition can progress through three stages, although not everyone goes through every stage. In the earliest stage, days to weeks after an injury, the limb can become dry, hot, red and painful. Even the lightest touch or the slightest movement can cause excruciating pain. At this point, RSDS can be mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis, infection, gout or another disorder, and your doctor may not be able to identify the problem.
Over the next few weeks to months, the skin can become shiny, thin and cool. The limb becomes mottled and purplish. There is considerable swelling. Pain worsens. The nails become brittle and can grow faster. As the limb becomes difficult to move, you may have more pain further up the limb. This might be related to muscle stiffness and soreness.
Some people experience other movement problems, including weakness, spasm and tremor. An affected limb can become permanently flexed or bent, a condition called contractures. In some people, the skin can become tight, dry and shriveled. The bones can become brittle because they aren't being used. The skin, muscles and joints stiffen so that the affected area cannot be moved. Some patients have less pain at this point. Once the disease reaches this point, it is extremely difficult to treat.
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