Old 03-05-2009, 06:11 AM #1
Carlsmolensky Carlsmolensky is offline
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Default Stiff hand with flat palm atrophy? What is this?

I've been worried about ALS ever since I had twitches, but it wasn't until recently that other stuff started happening. I am only 24 but I've had weakness in my right shoulder and arm following a prolonged twitching session. My GP found no objective weakness but didn't bother to look at my hand.

My right hand has had stiffness in the fingers for at least two months now. I figured it was computer related but it hasn't gotten any better. They are stiff in that the movements seem jerky and difficult to control when I try to do anything that requires articulation. If I flex them repeatedly my hand starts to cramp up and I have to stop quickly. This doesn't happen to my left.

However, what really concerned me is that while stretching my hand out today I noticed my right is much flatter than the left. It feels less meaty and the bumps/balls that cover where the finger joints connect to the palm are not there on my right hand. Is this atrophy? As far as I can tell, the pinky and thumb area is fine but from my index finger on down the "balls" are missing.

Is this atrophy? I've read through a few topics and looked at pictures but I haven't found any answers. Thanks... I sure hope it isn't as I understand it would be very bad and much more indicative of a MND than just twitching. Yikes.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:15 PM #2
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Carlsmolensky,

The symptoms you describe could be caused by a lot of different things. I think MND is the last thing you need to be worried about right now. I would start with the basics of taking it easy with that arm/hand (I know this can be hard if you're a big computer user).

If it continues to bother you, schedule a follow up with your doctor, and look at getting a referral to a neuro. You may have a trapped/pinched nerve, or something else going on.

Since you probably don't have a good frame of reference, you are going to to drive yourself nuts looking at the subtle differences between your hands.

Take care,

Robert

Last edited by planningguy : 03-05-2009 at 02:23 PM Reason: Added a bit.
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:19 PM #3
TiggerLenses TiggerLenses is offline
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i feel ya, Carl.
I'm also 24.
same thing has happened to me with my good side (it's all assymetrical right now - though fasci'c's are starting more on the other side now too) yet my entire forearm + elbow are also feel stiff and show definite atrophy. my hand is getting worse. hard to unfold. my middle finger + third finger are less useless...lifting things is a different story on this side...there are fascic's at the elbow, constantly, but I can only see them now (very noticeable), yet not feel them...
AND It all started with my leg. and the calf is getting smaller, the leg is weaker , my toes are curled + stiff... so... I don't know how my case would be a pinched nerve, but hey, who knows.
none of this is associated with pain. and I've developed an awful gag reflex problem - getting worse. and now cramps are a huge problem (this just started recently)
the others on this forum think there are other problems that could cause this - and I dearly, dearly hope so. I've had CT's, MRI's, Blood Work. So I'm thinking logically MND, but again, WHO KNOWS. I see the Neuro in a week (next Thurs) - I guess I'll have a better idea. But even then, who knows.
I pray for something other than ALS, even any other type of MND if it had to be... but if it is, it is. and all you can do is pray for a slow progression.

if you haven't been blood tested or haven't had any brain/spinal scans, your Neuro will probably have you do that along with the EMG.

Good luck.
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:03 PM #4
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Thanks Tigger, let me know how your exam goes. I am currently uninsured and unemployed so finding good medical care is going to be difficult. I really hope we are okay and it is just something wrong with a nerve that isn't progressive.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:30 PM #5
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I went through a bout of strange symptoms nearly a year ago and I thought I had ALS. As it turns out, I was wrong. One of my main concerns was hand stiffness. I was seen by 4 different neurologists, two of whom were regular neurologists and two of whom were neuromuscular disease specialists, all of whom agreed it was not ALS. When I asked one of the nueros about the stiffness in my hands, he gave me an answer that I had to have him repeat. He said, "When they say 'stiffness' they mean stiffness as it relates to a limited range of motion due to muscular paralysis." Those were his words, not my own. Hope that helps.
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