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July 23, 2009 - Image 29

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-07-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

h & Fitness

WELLNESS ON THE CO

Elusive disorder brings disproportionate, lengthy pain to ordinary injuries.

Ronelle Grier
Special to the Jewish News

L

auren Kunin expected to spend
her first year as a teenager doing
the things most girls her age
enjoy: going to b'nai mitzvah parties,
shopping, having sleepovers with her
friends. She didn't expect to be derailed
by a disorder known as RSD, or Reflex
Sympathetic Dystrophy.
Lauren developed the condition, also
known as CRPS, or Complex Regional
Pain Syndrome, after she fractured
the fibula in her left leg, the result of
a fall during gym class. She was taken
to the emergency room, where she was
told to use crutches until the soreness
subsided and she was able to walk nor-
mally. Several weeks later, Lauren still
was unable to bear weight on her left

leg without experiencing intense pain.
She and her father, Jerry Kunin of West
Bloomfield, began searching for answers.
"I had friends who had broken bones,
and they healed faster," said Lauren, who
will attend West Bloomfield High School
in the fall. "I wasn't sure why it was tak-
ing so long."
Neither were the medical profession-
als Lauren saw during those first few
months. Nothing unusual showed up
in the X-rays that were taken. A bone
scan produced negative results. Physical
therapy was prescribed, but it was only
minimally helpful. One doctor told her
father that Lauren's problem was emo-
tional rather than physical. The Kunins
later learned that it's common for people
with CRPS/RSD to see an average of five
physicians before being diagnosed accu-
rately.

she was so encouraged by
Above: Lauren Kunin,
Finally, Dr. Christopher
the progress she made that
14, of West Bloomfield
Tisdel, a bone and
she wanted to stay longer,"
with some of the gifts
ankle specialist in West
said her father."And every-
she and her family
Bloomfield, made the diag-
one on the staff was so nice
donated to Children's
nosis. He referred Lauren
and helpful."
Hospital of Michigan.
to Children's Hospital of
To show their apprecia-
Michigan in Detroit, where
tion,
Lauren and her father
she began a new round
donated
a
truckload
of stuffed animals
of physical therapy. When the therapy
to
Children's
Hospital
to provide comfort
didn't improve her condition, Dr. Douglas
to
other
young
patients
away from their
Henry, a pediatric physiatrist, recom-
homes
because
of
illness
or injury.
mended an intensive inpatient therapy
program.
Mystifying Syndrome
Lauren spent 10 days in Children's
RSD/CRPS is a complicated and often
Hospital, which she described as a kind
misunderstood
syndrome that affects at
of medical "boot camp." Her days con-
least
1
million
people
in the United States.
sisted of physical therapy, exercises and
Although
its
exact
causes
are unknown,
more therapy. By the time she was dis-
it
usually
occurs
following
a nerve injury
charged, she was able to walk normally
for the first time since her injury.
Searching For Answers on page A30
"The program was hard on Lauren, but

July 23 2009

A29

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