Old 12-22-2014, 08:21 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Concerned about ALS ?

First off thank you for taking my questions and reading my note- much appreciated. I am a male, age 49 and otherwise in generally good shape. Have some high BP non diabetic but likely to develop it as both parents were/are diabetic. I have had chronic lower back pain over the last several years with the odd time unable to get out of bed with severe pain running down my leg and unable to walk w/out experiencing pain. Over the last 90 + days, I have been lifting, running around and completing a renovation to our home. Over the last 2 weeks I developed sudden weakness in my right thigh. In addition to that, I noticed over the last few months that my right thigh had a dimple but didn't really pay too much attention to it (muscle atrophy). My right thigh measures 21 inches and left 21,5 inches BUT its clear the shape of the right which is smaller looks different than the left.

It wasn't until I saw my primarly doctor and said that the weakness could be a result of lower back pain etc ...He tried to elicit a reflex in my right impacted knee and it was pretty much absent...very little response. He sent me to a neurologist who happened to be a friend of mine in past. He checked me out and did all the typical tests: walk on my heels, walk on my toes, Babinski test - negative, strength tests etc ... all normal except right thigh weakness w/some atrophy and a negligent response to my knee reflex. Asked me to walk and all appeared normal to him. He ordered a nerve test to measure the nerve implulses and an MRI on my L4/3 region of my spine and diagnosed me with Radiculopathy w/ L4/3. (sorry I may have missed a word here) Basically believes that I have a pinched nerve or nerve root compression).

I asked him about ALS and he said that it would be pretty obvious if I had ALS and told me not to be concerned. Now my questions: if all is typically normal except for the thigh weakness and the slight atrophy w/ little reflex - is this a typical sign of possible ALS ?

Are ALS symptoms more obvious that just that ? I have no twitching or any of the other symptoms. I have noticed that after 2 1/2 weeks the weakness in my thigh is still present but it is slowly improving - not a lot but slow.

Is muscle atrophy the first sign of ALS ? Does muscle atrophy coincide with weakness or does weakness come first ? Am I running up a tree looking for answers that may have little relevance here ?

Thank you in advance,

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Old 12-22-2014, 09:26 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Concerned about ALS ?

Read the stickies over and over again. If a qualified professional doesn't think you have ALS I wouldn't be asking people questions who didn't attend medical school. I just wonder who I'd trust more? Why do people pay to see a doctor and then they don't believe them? Just really puzzles this small mind of mine.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:29 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Concerned about ALS ?

Newbie, as you wrote,

("I asked him about ALS and he said that it would be pretty obvious if I had ALS and told me not to be concerned. Now my questions: if all is typically normal except for the thigh weakness and the slight atrophy w/ little reflex - is this a typical sign of possible ALS ?")

So, apparently you doubt a highly trained neurologist.

Then you wrote,

("Are ALS symptoms more obvious that just that ? I have no twitching or any of the other symptoms. I have noticed that after 2 1/2 weeks the weakness in my thigh is still present but it is slowly improving - not a lot but slow.")

ALS/MNDs don't improve. Period.

Finally, as you also wrote,

("Over the last 90 + days, I have been lifting, running around and completing a renovation to our home.")

Hmmm... think that might just have something to do with your following symptoms?

Have a nice Holiday.
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