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bryant41

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So I'm 39, have developed complete right bicep atrophy along with joint stiffness increasingly getting worse over the last 6 months. Am active on and off the job, and feel fine otherwise. No numbness, tingleness, or loss of motor skills. Just unable to curl even a 2 LB dumbell with right arm. PMD has referred me to rheumatologist and neurologist to rule out AlS, MS, etc. Appointments next week. Was hoping there is someone out there with the same affliction, and what other than ALS they were diagnosed with. My hope is that it's just a pinched nerve in my neck that feeds the bicep as others have suggested. Posting this here because I'm new to this forum and was advised to post a new thread. Oh, and I'm not a hypochondriac. In fact, I never complain about anything, I work through the joint stiffness and pain everyday, but it just got to the point where I look ridiculous since my bicep muscle as the MD stated has "completely wasted away."

Thanks,
Tony
 

HelenL

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I hope that it's just a pinched nerve as well...

Numbness and tingling aren't generally a part of ALS, clinical weakness is. Have you had an EMG yet? That will show nerve damage long before anything is evident to you and your muscles.

Good luck, and keep us posted!
 

notme

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Oops you didn't have a thread yet.

ALS diagnosis would be a way off. There are a lot of things that can cause atrophy--so try to think as positive as you can.

A trapped nerve is the most common cause of atrophy---an MRI of your neck perhaps is in order.?

In answer to the question : Should you see a specialist? My reply would be yes. Save a few steps of wondering if the doctor knows what they are talking about in ruling out ALS. The ALSA lists specialists in each state.

Again--just remember, there are a lot of other possibilities. Most commonly, ALS affects distal first--hands and feet --ankles or fingers. Or bulbar. So, there is still a good chance something else may be found! Good luck to you.
 

bryant41

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My PMD said that the neurologist would most likely order the EMG. I would like to think it's a pinched nerve also, but I don't have any numbness/tingleness, or pain. It is reassuring to know that ALS usually starts in the legs. In either case, unfortunately, there is something going on. Staying positive though. Appreciate the responses.

Thanks,
Tony
 

notme

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Yes the neuro will likely order an EMG--but usually, before that, they order various blood tests and MIRs--as even with abnormalities in the EMG/NCV--a neck issue has to be ruled out.

Can your GP get you a head start and get some of those tests out of the way? I didn't mean it usually starts in the feet--I meant it would start normally in distal muscles--like hands or feet--not biceps. Since it's just the one muscle--that might well be in your favor. I hope it is
 

Toto's Dorothy

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Tony,

I'm with Helen and notme on this one. It does sound more like a pinched nerve than A L S. Hopefully, you will get an a ppoint ment with a doc tor quite quickly to alleviate any undo stress the "waiting game" causes. Just remember to try and keep a level head on your shoulders. So often we lose people. When they try to make their symp toms fit into the box.

Please let us know the results of your exam. Thank you.

Sending prayers around the world,
 

bryant41

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Update: I saw the Rheumatologist. She stated that she didn't think it was ALS since I don't have any symptoms in my legs, have never had speech problems, and no trouble swallowing. All blood work came back normal for arthritis. She said the pain specific to my right knee may be a slight tear of the meniscus. She did however express a deep concern for a form of muscular dystrophy due to the severe atrophy in my right bicep/tricep with complete weakness, and slight atrophy andsome weakness in my left also. She said a nerve impingement is highly unlikely from the tests she performed, especially since there is no pain, numbness, etc. She ordered x-rays which came back normal, but my CK level in my blood was 384, further making her suspect NMD. I know elevated CK levels can be from a strenuous workout, but I haven't exercised in a while (weeks). She has communicated with neurology (appointment on Thursday) and said they should be doing an EMG test, and an MRI. She said to wait to have the MRI of my knee done at the same time. Thanks for your concerns and prayers.

Tony
 

panguinjen

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Good luck with your next appointment!

Jen
 

Toto's Dorothy

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41,

Did the doc tor happen to mention which one? There are 40 different types that are umbrella(ed) under the M D A. For peace of mind, only because I know you will or already done so, please use the M D A . O R G site. At the top of their page, is di seas es. There you can get info on on set and symp toms. Most are di ag nos ed by a blood test.

Have questions ready and good luck,

Toto
 

HelenL

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Tony, I'm with Toto on this one, check out to see which MD she may be referring to... though I don't think that your CK level is all that high, I've read of people have it over 1500... or more.

Good luck and keep us posted, hoping we can throw ya outta here! :)
 

Alyoop

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Best of luck for your appointment Tony. I hope they get down to the bottom of what's causing your atrophy.
 

bryant41

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Had the neurology appointment today. EMG test was done: Abnormal. No amplitude at all in the right bicep/tricep. Neurologist stated that ALS is pretty much off the table, but is strongly suggesting Limb Girdle MD. MRI, more bloodwork, and muscle biopsy to come. Thank you for your prayers

Tony
 

momap53

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Tony, so glad that your Neurologist has taken ALS off the table. Good luck with the rest of your testing.
 

notme

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Sorry--I think I'd want to see a neuro just to be on the safe side--not a rheumy. They are in two entirely different specialties. While ALS isn't by any means what I think you have--the fact that you have substantial atrophy with that affected limb suggests you need a specialist--and a Rheumy just isn't the correct one.

Edit--missed the last post--you did see a neuro. Glad they took ALS off the table.
 
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