Confused about atrophy...

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lizzy

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I have read a lot about atrophy being one of the sx of ALS but I'm not sure what to "look" for in my husband.
He thinks he has atrophy of his hands and arms and I see that they have gotten smaller and feel softer, almost with bands of muscle under the skin like licorice or something. He had solid and muscular arms before this.
His hands curl when relaxed and he says they feel tight so he has to stretch them out to make them flat.
He also experiences constant fascilations in his forearms and hands, some so severe that he spills his drink or his arms jump.
After a year of constant muscle cramping in his legs, they are now twitching and making him stumble too. He is dragging his feet without knowing it sometimes now and although he uses a cane, he still trips and loses balance often.
Does this sound like atrophy?
 

brooksea

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Lizzy,

Yes that sounds like atrophy. If you lift your husband's hand you will see how light it has become as the muscle weight is now gone.

It is important that he do some "range of motion" exercise with those hands to keep them from curling if possible.

Dragging a foot would be called "foot drop" due to weakness in the muscles. He may the help of a walker or rollator to get around without falling.

Good luck to you and your husband.
 

linray

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Lizzy,
Your husband's symptoms are very much like my husband's. You should ask about a brace for his leg with the drop foot. My husband fought against getting it for a while, but it has made quite a difference. He also kept tripping and falling because of the drop foot. The brace is virtually unseen if he wears long pants (something my husband was concerned about.
Keep your chin up. We are in this together.
 
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