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Hand Atrophy???
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Hand Atrophy???

I've posted here before, but will give a brief background for convenience.  In the spring of 2001, I noticed some tremors in my fingers.  Mostly in the form of a finger shaking back and forth when extended.  In September I saw my PCP who said maybe ET.  Soon after that visit, I developed muscle twitches all over my body.  Sometimes it felt like all of my muscles were shaking or vibrating...normally in bed at night.  Long story short, I've seen 3 seperate Neurologist, two from CCF, and had a "completely normal" right foot, leg, hand, arm EMG.  Dx as BFS.  The EMG was in early February.  Last Saturday I noticed that the muscle on the outside edge of my left hand looked smaller.  I obsessed a few days over it, but eventually came to the conclusion that I was imagining things.  Now, I have a depression in my palm about half a thumb length long an inch below the base of my pinky finger.  I've had twitching that I could feel, but not see in the area.  I've also had a minor burning sensation in my palm.  This depression is not subjective as I have had others look at it. (I've been terrified of having ALS)  Two doctors have looked at it and have said it's not atrophy.(neither could tell me what it was though)  I still have good strength.  My question is, is this something that a doctor could miss?  Also, how likely is it that I would have visible atrophy without associated weakness?  I have an emergency appointment with a CCF neuromuscular specialist on Monday.(seen him twice before)  I'm afraid that I'm going to be wasting his time, but I am very concerned.  I'm "only" 30.
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No patient ever really "wastes" a physician;s time. If there is a concern about your health, we are happy to help you address the issue. I'm not sure what the indentation is in your palm, but a neurologist should be able to tell if it is truly atrophy. Also, the normal exam and EMG are reassuring that nothing life threatening or serious is going on. It is entirely appropriate to seek the opinion of a neuromuscular specialist for questions such as these. Hope everything turns out ok tomorrow.
3 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear twitcher,

You should come to a website called MGH braintalk and go under neuromuscular forum.  There are a lot of people with similar problems.  I would love to know the outcome of your vistit today.
Diana
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Avatar_n_tn
Twitcher I had/have the same problem as you, some 20 years ago I first noticed a weakness and decreasing in muscle bulk on my left hand (I am now 41) I was advised it was imaginary until the hand eventually became skeletal on the outside by the pinky. For over 8 years I was subjected to continuous EMG, ECG and Milogram (if you haven't had one..DON'T!)examinations. Not one Dr or Consultant could explain the reasons for the atrophying in my hand muscles. I play the guitar daily, which all the Dr's I had seen told me I would no longer be able to do (although I am no longer as proficient as I once was) and now consult an accupuncturist and perform daily hand exercises. My muscle bulk has not returned, but I retain at least 60% of the use of my pinky (except in extreme cold).

I remain confident that continuous use and exercise of my hand enables my continued use.


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