Old 10-12-2017, 08:24 AM #1 (permalink)
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Default From one leg to the next?

Hello all,

My husband has left leg onset and when we got the unofficial diagnosis on May 12th by the neurophysiatrist, the EMG showed the ALS is in his right leg, too, although he has yet to show symptoms.

My question is, if the EMG picked it up in his right leg back in May, when would the drop foot begin in that right leg? I'm constantly worried that it will come on like it did his left leg, with him tripping over his toes. This time, however, he has no other leg to support him and he could really hurt himself. He walks with a cane and an AFO, neither of which will do him any good if his right leg goes. How long does it usually take for noticeable symptoms if the EMG picked it up months ago?

We are trying to be proactive and are already looking at an accessible van and the ALS clinic has WC lifts for the stairs for us, as well as a PWC. Should we be getting all of this together now? I really dislike waiting for the failure of my husband's other leg, as it seems so bleak, but knowing an approximate time frame of symptoms might be helpful. Or maybe not... I don't know.

Thanks everyone

J
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:34 AM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: From one leg to the next?

I don't think anyone can answer that. It is completely individual and depends on the speed of progression. He will likely notice it very early as he knows how the initial leg started and symptoms that seemed trivial will probably ring a bell when seen again. As proactive as you are able to be is a good thing.

I did read research that progression rates in corresponding limbs are similar but I can tell you from personal experience, unfortunately, that is not always so

Sorry. I have longed for a crystal ball so I could plan better

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Old 10-12-2017, 11:24 AM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: From one leg to the next?

Hi,
I also started with foot drop in my left leg. I'd say that my right leg is about 2-3 months behind the left leg in terms of findings. By the time I actually realized there was a significant problem in the left leg (foot drop and inability to stand on the toes), the right leg already had similar symptoms but to a much lesser degree. I have noticed the evolution of weakness in the feet and ankles to come on gradually rather than all at once. I realize everyone is different, but if your husband's course is anything like mine, he'll probably notice partial weakness in the right foot and ankle before he experiences complete foot drop. As Nikki says, he'll probably be looking for it so will notice it probably soon after it starts.

EMGs in ALS will show abnormalities in different regions before the onset of noticeable weakness. The time interval between EMG findings and onset of weakness seems to vary considerably from person to person.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:30 AM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: From one leg to the next?

Thank you very much for the replies, Nikki and Karen. Common sense says, for sanity sake, not to anticipate each muscle failure and stay in the present with my PALS.

That's all one can really do with this disease.

Btw, Karen, your dog and my dog could be twins.

Take care and thank you again

J
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:53 AM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: From one leg to the next?

My dog Jaime is a boxer-German Shepherd mix. What's yours?
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:13 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: From one leg to the next?

Mine is an Azores Cattle dog with her ears intact. People mistake her for all kinds of other breeds, though. She's our security blanket since hubby's diagnosis, as I'm sure your pup is, too, for you. Her name is Callie.

I tried to send a pic through pm but there's no attachment option on pm.

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