Reflex sympathetic dystrophy of the lower extremity in tetraplegia: Case report

Todd P. Lefkoe, Diana D. Cardenas

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11 Scopus citations


Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) of the upper extremities has been reported to occur following complete and incomplete injuries of the cervical cord. Such reports describe the value of the three-phase radionuclide bone scan (TPBS) in differentiating RSD from pain of other sources. To our knowledge, RSD of the lower extremities has not been reported in a patient with tetraplegia. We report a case of lower extremity RSD in a patient with a complete traumatic injury of the cervical cord. The case illustrates the use of the TPBS to differentiate RSD from heterotopic ossification (HO) in the lower extremities. The successful use of the alpha-adrenergic blocker, phenoxybenzamine, in the treatment of RSD is described. Follow-up to 30 months has shown no evidence of recurrence, and complete resolution of the scintigraphic findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-242
Number of pages4
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996


  • lower extremities
  • pain syndromes
  • phenoxybenzamine
  • reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • tetraplegia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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