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Traumatic Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
Traumatic Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)

This stock medical exhibit depicts the mechanism of reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) and an attempt at breaking the cycle of pain. Multiple images illustrate how an injury to the right foot initiates a pain impulse which is carried from the sensory nerves to the central nervous system. The pain impulse in turn, triggers an impulse in the sympathetic nervous system which returns to the original area of injury. The sympathetic impulse triggers an inflammatory response, causing the vessels to dilate. This leads to swelling and increased pain. The pain triggers another impulse, establishing a continuous cycle of pain and swelling. An additional image shows how an anesthetic is injected around the lumbar sympathetic chain in an attempt to break the cycle of pain.

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Last Updated: Mar 5th, 2020

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