Twitching, clean EMG, then doctor said I have limb atrophy

zhb

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Hi all—I'm new here. I browsed this subforum back in April after I developed persistent twitching in my left leg and foot. The stickied thread helped calm me down and I made an appointment with my PCP, who referred me to a neurologist, who sent me for an EMG. As you might expect, it came back clean. The technician told me there was "nothing too concerning" and he only picked up benign fasciculations. That put me at ease, and I went on with my life. That being said, the twitching remained. It decreased in frequency, but spread to my abdomen, a little to my right leg, and occasionally shows up in my arms and face.

Over the summer I've had persistent abdominal pain. It's been going on for quite a few months, so I made another appointment with my PCP (a new doctor, as I moved states). He gives me a physical, offers some ideas on what we can do to figure out my abdominal issues, and then mentions I have atrophy in my left leg. At this point I get pretty damn concerned, and he shows me the difference in muscle mass and the difference in strength (if I raise my left knee up, he can push it down easily—this is not so with my right knee). I asked him if I should see another neurologist, and he says if she wasn't able to catch my leg wasting I should. I then saw him write "ALS?" on my chart. So now I'm in the process of trying to schedule a new appointment, and I'm kind of panicking, and I've hit the dreaded waiting period.

I keep telling myself I have perfect coordination (I can hop up stairs two at a time if I wish), I'm young (24), in good health (besides this and the abdominal pain), but it's doing me no good. I'm pretty freaked out I didn't notice the weakness and I'm not sure what to do. Is there anything else these symptoms could be stemming from? I know there's no laws of the universe that prevent people from being hit with bad news, but my dad died only a few years ago from brain cancer and I'm an only child. Getting an ALS diagnosis would absolutely kill my mom, and I can't bear to think of that.
 

KarenNWendyn

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ALS would be extremely unlikely and I’m surprised the doctor would even bring it up or write it in your chart as a possibility. By far and away, it’s most likely you have a localized musculoskeletal process or a localized neurological process. But not ALS, especially not with the clean EMG and no functional loss, not to mention your young age. It’s certainly reasonable to see a neurologist, but I wouldn’t be worried.
 

zhb

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Thanks for your reply, Karen, it helps. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
 
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