Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Is the consistent pain in my leg RSD?"

ZocdocAnswersIs the consistent pain in my leg RSD?


I have had consistent pain in my left leg, from my foot to my hip for two years now. Had a bunch of tests, but my docs are stumped. I just heard about RSD, is it possible that this is what is causing my pain?


Reflex sympathetic dystrophy, also known as complex regional pain syndrome, is an rare cause of limb pain. The condition is characterize by an inciting event (trauma to the limb, damage to a nerve in the limb) which sets off a cascade of symptoms, which include burning or lancing pain in the affected limb, combined with swelling of the limb and changes in the color and texture of the skin (most commonly the skin because reddened). If you have symptoms that sound like this, then RSD is certainly a possibility and you should talk to the doctors who are treating your condition about this. On the other hand if you just have pain but are lacking the other symptoms, especially skin changes and swelling, then RSD is much less likely. You should consider talking with your doctors again to try to reevaluate where the pain might be coming from. For me, not knowing much about your case, with the symptoms of pain in the leg like you describe, I would think first of a pinched nerve or bulging disc in the lower back causing the symptoms. If you have not had an MRI of the spine, that might be an option. Another possibility would be bad arthritis of the hip, which can often cause pain in the entire leg. Start by talking with your doctors again!

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.