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LaurieO

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Thank you for letting me join this sight and for listening to me.

I am concerned that I may have ALS... My hand doctor (seeing for a thumb problem) noticed that my dominant hand had "intrinsic muscle wasting" last February (age 55). I never noticed anything. He was very concerned and I had an EMG within a week. It did come back abnormal showing C8 degeneration of the motor nerve only, no sensory. He thought maybe I had an elbow problem but that was not the case. Because I had no numbness, tingling or pain, we thought I should just wait and see. I had an EMG 2 years prior which did not show anything wrong with the C8 nerve, so this is a new finding.

Well, after thumb surgery, at the 3 month f/u, the thumb doctor also thought I had hand weakness, so he sent me to a third doctor, this time a neck specialist. We thought maybe this was a compression issue. I had an MRI last week which did NOT show any compression from the nerve root, vertebrae or a disk problem.

This doctor did think that it was very unusual to have the weakness (he also agreed that it showed "atrophy" as he called it) involving the motor nerve without involvement of the sensory nerve. He now wants me to have a CT to see if any other physical problem is causing this. If nothing shows up, he will repeat the EMG in a few months to compare to the one done in February to see if there has been progression of the nerve degeneration.

I have no other symptoms and do not notice weakness, other than looking at my hand, I can see webbing or a sunk-in look to it. I know this isn't a medical group, but those experienced with ALS. I wonder if I hadn't seen the hand doctor, if I would not be aware of this until possibly later if it gets worse and then it would lead to ALS. Maybe the doctor picked up on it very early? I was very distraught originally, but now have been on a holding pattern for all these months. With 3 different doctors seeing the weakness, could it be nothing?

Thank you for any input!
Laurie
 

Dusty7

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ALS is a disease of widespread acute and chronic denervation. Your problem is not widespread and is therefore more likely due to a pinched nerve or some other localized problem. Follow up to find out what the problem is, but I would not worry about ALS.
 

LaurieO

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Has anyone else had this happen - that ALS was picked up on by a professional/doctor without you suspecting a problem or noticing symptoms? Has anyone had very early signs without rapid progression or symptoms showing up over several months?

I have read that once the muscles go, it is very fast; from nothing to not being able to use the muscle just about overnight.

I would appreciate any thoughts.
Thank you!
Laurie
 

LifeEnthusiast

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ALS and other motor neuron diseases manifest and progress differently for everyone. That includes the path to diagnosis. But truly in your case, this is irrelevant. Reread what Nikki wrote. She is 100 per cent correct. Follow up with the relevant doctor on your pinched nerve and go enjoy life.
 

LaurieO

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LifeEnthusiast,

Thank you for your response :)

I am waiting to have the CT and will discuss with the doctor. I will ask about whether I should see a Neurologist, wait, or if the doctor will repeat the EMG, then I will have more answers. I will definitely be back to this forum to read, respond, support, or update on my own situation. For now I am in a waiting pattern and enjoying every day!

I am in awe of the support that people offer here and how so many have such courage, inspiration, give suggestions, offer positive strength and ideas to everyone! Wonderful work! :)
 
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