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Senior member
Nov 27, 2006
Learn about ALS
I have a few questions about what ALS does to your body:

1) On your fingers, everyone says it "curls" them in. Does it make your fingers "crooked", like go to the left or right at the knuckle or the last joint befoe the tip, or does it curl them under, like a claw? How do you know if they are starting to curl?

2) Foot drop, what is your experience with it, how do you define it? I mean, is it just your foot hanging down, or is it the foot pointing to the floor with the inability to pick it up?

3) Eye twitches, right under the eye, like in the baggy part, wrapping under your eye. Do any PALS experience twithces there for ext. periods? I read all over, eye twitches are benign. Mine has been twitching for three weeks now?
From what I understand and see on my hands they curl like a claw because with no muscle the tendons shrink and pull the fingers down and under.
Foot drop is when the shin muscle deteriorates and no longer lifts the front of the foot when you step. The toes catch and down you go or at least stumble unless you get an AFO ankle foot orthotic which helps keep the front of the foot up when walking.
The eye thing I've never had so can't give any input in on.
I'm not sure of the hooman sign but am sure we are all hooman beeins. LOL.
I think it's Hoffman sign. When they run a sharp object on the side of the foot and the toe goes up.
My fingers are going "crooked" and are very boney. My right hand is weaker than the left and the little fingers are more crooked than the others.

Sometimes the front of my foot will "catch" and I will do a little hop, skip and jump in order not to fall. This is when my ankle, or like Al said, shin muscle is weak.

I get twitching that lately has changed into a more hard "pop" and it occasionally includes the eye area. It is very distressful and has been waking me up at night.

Remember, there are other diseases that cause these symptoms, so don't focus in on just ALS! I think you would know by now if it was ALS.

Annmarie - Homans sign is when the knee is flexed, the doc turns your ankle. If it causes pain in your calf, then it is positive. So, this test is something that you have to say is positive, not something the doc can see. This is usually used to check for clots in the legs.
Helpful definitions

Hi all ~ I'm a medical transcriptionist and use my reference books every time we come home from a doctor's appointment to decipher what he/she just said. lol I thought I would pass along some definitions for you so you can decipher what your doctor told you too. I hope this helps. Pam B in Va

Dorland's Medical Dictionary:

Homans' sign: pain on dorsiflexion of the foot.

Hoffmann's sign: in hemiplegia, a sudden nipping of the nail of the index, middle, or ring finger will produce flexion of the terminal phalanx of the thumb and of the second and third phalanges of some other finger; called also digital reflex, Hoffmann's reflex, and Tromner's sign. (This one is still kind of confusing to me, but I guess it helps to know that it is in the fingers and not the foot.)

Yesterday, i went to the local ALS walk to DeFeet meeting for my friend with ALS. This is the first time i've seen her in about 5 years. She does not look much different than me...interesting, as a matter of fact, she didn't look bad at all and she's had ALS for 7 years now. I will be walking with her in Nov.

The reason i ask about the fingers, is mine are going "crooked", like to the left and right. I am thinking, this is more of authritis, rather than a tendon issue?

If i "stiffen" my hands, i can generate a hoffmans sign on both hands, but i think the hands have to be relaxed?

On babinski sign, my big toes are stiff and hurt alot. I have not been really neuroloigically examined since May and it's about 9 months from my last EMG.

I can feel myself, looking bad again today, i can feel it. Pale.

My tongue is still in shambles. Alot of excess saliva, thumb atrophy

Lyme? I'm just not sold guys, sorry!

take care all


Georgia ~ Thanks for the website. This one will help out a lot when trying to interpret these docs!

Jamie ~ Hang in there. I'm so sorry you are still having problems. If I remember correctly, I believe someone said that with the treatment for Lyme you might feel worse before getting better. Hopefully, this is what is going on with you. I'm not giving up hope that it is Lyme for you and for my husband. :) Try to have a relaxing weekend. Take care. Pam B in Va
Thx pam,

What's the latest on your hubby? Any results back yet?


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