by Ed Coghlan
When several dozen physicians gather on October 22 in Chicago, it could be a major step toward standardizing care in the use of ketamine to treat CRPS.
RSDSA is sponsoring the meeting.
“Patients are quite desperate,” said Dr. Peter Moskovitz, a board certified orthopedic surgeon who is chair of the RSDSA. “This meeting in Chicago is important to create a real starting point in getting agreement on how to use ketamine to treat CRPS.”
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition most often affecting one of the limbs (arms, legs, hands, or feet), usually after an injury or trauma to that limb. CRPS is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems.
For patient advocate and CRPS sufferer Gracie Bagosy Young–who will attend the meeting–there is hope and caution.
“Ketamine can be a very powerful tool in combating RSD/CRPS when it is administered in a professional setting by a properly trained Physician. As a chronically ill patient that has experienced IV Ketamine infusions that were extremely successful, and many that were less than successful, I know that there is a wide variation in protocols and ethics. That being said, I think it will be difficult to set a standard for everyone, as each patient is completely different than the next. I have to believe that if CRPS behaved the same in all of us, and responded the same to treatments, scientists would be able to find a cure for us!”
For another CRPS sufferer (and contributor to the National Pain Report), Katie O’Leary work toward standardizing how CRPS is treated is very important.
“As a patient with a severe case of CRPS, it terrifies me any time I travel outside of California if something happens to me, most hospitals and doctors will not know about my condition nor will they have the resources to treat it,” she said. “The Ketamine protocol at USC Keck hospital has changed the lives of many patients with neuropathic pain. It is a safely monitored program supervised by nurses and it has worked tremendously for so many.”
O’Leary who was injured playing sports in college has suffered from CRPS for several years.
“We need to standardize the use of Ketamine at more hospitals all over the country, and not just a few states. If we can spread awareness and share the current research with doctors everywhere – they can not only educate themselves on rare neuropathic disorders, but also offer new solutions or research. Fresh eyes always help when it comes to scientific research. More research means more hope for patients like me – who want to be able to travel home and be unafraid of the consequences. We need to share the benefits of ketamine treatments to more states, so that all the patients who suffer in silence – can finally be heard.”
For Jim Broatch, the long-time executive Vice President of RSDSA this opportunity is important and critical.
“We hope that our faculty and attendees can agree upon a protocol to treat CRPS. The next step is to find a funder to conduct a clinical trial,” Broatch told the National Pain Report. “Ketamine works but insurers too often have refused to pay for it because deem it an experimental therapy.”
Things may be changing because of the Chicago meeting.