Old 12-16-2009, 03:22 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default leg weakness

diagnosed 7/09. onset in right hand, which has progressed to the forearm. my doctor said 2 wks. ago that my legs are still good and strong. they feel so wobbly to me.......no foot drop, just weak feeling. any feedback?
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:21 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: leg weakness

Glenna

My ALS began in my right hand, also. I stopped hiking about 8 month after the onset, and at first I thought it was due to my legs getting weaker, but it really was my breathing getting weaker.

I can still walk a little bit, and I am now starting to get foot drop in my right foot.

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Old 12-16-2009, 04:48 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: leg weakness

so are you saying the leg weakness occurs before drop? had the pulmonary function test - so far so good and no sleep apnea. thanks.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:33 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: leg weakness

In my case , the weakness caused the drop . I guess its which symptom you notice first.

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Old 12-16-2009, 05:37 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: leg weakness

Hi Glenna - I was diagnosed in August and my symptoms were bulbar along with slight weakness in my right hand. Since then both hands have gotten a little worse and recently I am having problems walking. I saw the neuro yesterday and like you my leg strength is pretty good. However my walking is wobbly and jerky. I tried to walk toe to heel and lost my balance several times. My right leg tends to lock out and not bend smoothly. Trying to walk fast is even worse, I twitch and jerk along and had trouble coming to a smooth stop.

The neurologist felt that this pointed to problems originating in the upper motor neurons, which go from the brain to the spinal cord. ALS affects both these and the lower motor neurons that go from the spine to the muscles. With UMN problems you get poor balance, coordination, jerkyness and so on.

Recently I started walking with a cane, I feel better balanced and less wobbly. Also people give me some room and I am less likely to get bumped, which I have trouble recovering from.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:50 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: leg weakness

thanks all for your responses.....they were helpful.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:55 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: leg weakness

Glenna,

Don't take the phrase "foot drop" too literally. I had foot drop and didn't realize it. The PT watched me walk and said "oh yeah, you have foot drop". But I wasn't tripping over my toes or anything.

First sign of weakness in my foot was that I couldn't push off when I took a step. So I couldn't push down with my foot/toes. And this originally only happened after fatigue--after walking 100 yards or so.

Can you walk on your toes? ...on your heels? That's the most basic test a neuro will do to look for foot drop.

-Tom
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:57 AM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: leg weakness

I KEPT pushing it and "walking and walking" as though all was normal. Then started getting pains in my back. Some kind folk on this site advised me not to overdo the walking and take repose in a chair and what a relief it was. I used sticks for a while but they caused great neck and shoulder pain as I was putting too much weight on my arms. My physio now says it is important to walka little while you can but ONLY a little and not to overdo it. Do not resist the help of a roller walker or a wheel chair when you know you are going to be up and about for a long time. It pays, I promise you.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:50 AM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: leg weakness

irismarie, still waiting for the photo of your blinged out walker!
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:19 AM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: leg weakness

tom - i can walk on toes and heels - across the living room anyway.....
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:25 PM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: leg weakness

My husband has problems keeping his balance when walking, and what has worked for him is to wear heavy work boots. I know it sounds crazy, but for him it works. Lori
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:13 AM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: leg weakness

it does sound strange, lori, but I had the feeling when carrying heavy things that they somehow connected me better to the ground so I undersrtand how the heavy boots would work.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:15 AM #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indigosd View Post
irismarie, still waiting for the photo of your blinged out walker!
took my daughter back to the airport today. Sha had come over from UK for a week to help me so I have had no time yet. But seeking inspiration.......
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:39 AM #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: leg weakness

Irismarie, exactly, kind of like the blow up clown with the sand in the bottom, punch it down and it comes back up. Lori
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