I’m a 30 year technician who was hurt at work and developed an extremely painful condition called REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY (RSD). I was treated by an Orthopedic surgeon for 2 months without any relief. My shoulder and arm became increasingly painful and swollen, severe burning, sweating, and total loss of movement. The pain was so great I was unable to sleep. I was having thoughts of shooting myself. I was referred to Dr. Helem, an anesthesiologist at the Chapman clinic. He started me on aggressive physical therapy, twice a day, 6 days a week or two months! He also gave me a total of 14 stellate ganglion blocks, plus 2 guanethidine Beer blocks. None of these did me any good, and the blocks gave me a stroke look on my left face. Then they recommended a sympathectomy, a major operation. But the surgeon told me that I would have a 99% chance of having a droopy face, and no guarantee on the relief.
I had just about giving up when my Rehab nurse from Travelers Insurance Company took me to Dr. Tong. Dr. Tong told me I was one of his most difficult patients. He tried everything including cryoneurolysis. None of the treatments lasts, except the first cryosurgery which relieved 60% of my pain for three months! Since then he had to repeat the cryo several times along with the use of a few epidurals. Every treatment made the pain a little better and the relief longer. Today I need a treatment approximately every 2-3 months. But in between, I live a better and happier life with my son and wife.
I know a group of people with this problem who are suffering day and night, because no one knows how or wants to deal with it. So I feel very lucky to have met Dr. Tong. His office and staff are first class. All I have to say is thank you, Dr. Tong for helping when a number of doctors close the door on people like me.
– Ronald Brannigan