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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 26383
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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My wife has unidentified swelling in her foot. She has been

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My wife has unidentified swelling in her foot. She has been to 12 doctors and no one can seem to determine the cause. The recent recommendation is to have a pain block injection to see if that stops the swelling/pain. Should we be considering alternative treatments?
Hi--how long has this been going on and is there pain involved? What part of the foot is swollen and have any studies been done?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Foot is swollen at the top, where the toes meet the foot and partially around the ankle. No trauma or impact. Some moderate pain/discomfort.

She has had MRIs, ultrasounds, etc. All normal results.
OK--was any injury or trauma involved with this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi, as I mentioned, no trauma. She woke up one morning and it was swollen.
OK. You mentioned a pain block injection--can you tell me a bit more about what her doctor said about that?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The pain block should block the pain and may reduce swelling. It's called a sympathetic pain block. He's not sure if it will work. We're also concerned about the risks with an injection into her spine wheeln a clear diagnosis hasn't presented itself.
I understand. Has she had an MRI of the spine and perhaps a ct scan of the abdomen and pelvis?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She has had a lumbar spine MRI that came back normal. She has not had a ct scan of her ab and pelvis. What are your thoughts there? Should she delay the pain block?
OK--this could be something called sympathetic reflex dystrophy which is a nerve inflammation problem usually seen after injuries but not always. The pain block would help with that but I think she also needs nerve conduction studies of the leg to check for SRD and I would also get the ct of the abdomen and pelvis to make sure she doesn't have a mass there that could be blocking the lymphatic flow from her leg.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She has done an ultrasound of the veins and arteries and everything was normal. Would that rule out a need for a ct scan?
No--that was to check for a clot in the leg veins but it wouldn't rule out a pelvic mass

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