Neurology Expert Forum
Unilateral numbness, stiffness, and swelling
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding neurology issues such as: Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, Autism, Brain Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Pain, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, MS, Neuralgia, Neuropathy, Parkinson's Disease, RSD, Sleep Disorders, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Unilateral numbness, stiffness, and swelling

Am a 21yr old male. 3 months ago developed numbness in the ball of my right foot. It remained the same for the next month but then occurred over my entire right foot. It was completely numb and began to burn. My doctor thought it was a torn nerve and gave Naproxen. It didn't help and the entire right leg up till my knee soon went numb. X-ray of right foot was negative. Given vitamin shot but didn't help.  Blood tests ruled out diabetes, gout, cholesterol problems, and showed no signs of infection. Doctor gave me Gabapentin for burning and tingling. That helped a little, but I soon had a feeling of numbness on the right side of my head from my ear all the way back. Taken off Gabapentin. Went through CT scan which suggested an enlarged area in my left parietal lobe. However, an MRI ruled that out. Meanwhile my entire right leg grew numb, as did the tips of my pinky, index finger, and thumb on my right arm. CT arteriogram, and MRIs of the thoracic and cervical spine ruled out aneurysms, stroke, MS, blood vessel malformation, vasculitis. No other abnormalities seen that could cause my symptoms. Neurologist used tuning fork and cotton swab to test the numbness. During this time my whole right leg was numb, burning, and stiff.  lood tests were normal for sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, Hb A1C, B12, TSH, ANA, DNA DS Antibodies, Lyme disease, Sjogren's ABs, no cryoglobulin, non-reactive RPR, and no heavy metals. Back on Gabapentin to reduce burning. Entire leg, fingers, and head on right side constantly numb, leg stiff. Not a stress problem! Any thoughts? Further tests?
Related Discussions
Avatar_n_tn
Its certainly an unusual for these symptoms to affect one side of the body only -
Sometimes a whole hemi body sensory abnormality cna be caused by a disorder of the thalamus - a structure deep in the brain -  usually a stroke or demyelinating event or tumor - this can be evaluated by the MRI scan. Especially if the leg goes stiff or spastic - this is not comaptable with a peripheral sensory neuropathy - it is more suggestive of a problem in teh spinal cord or higher.

A good screenign test for a structural abnormality can also be somatosensory evoked potentials, which may give evidence of structural disease and where it is. An EMG is unlikely to be of any use, but MRI of the spine might be necessary to ruleout a cord compression.

Good luck
5 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Read your posting, and can't help but think it sounds similar to what I was recently diagnosed with--Chronic Inflammitory Demyelinizing Polyneuropathy.  About four months ago I began experiencing numbness in the balls of my feet, which gradually spread to the entire foot and then past both ankles.  Eventually began to feel slight numbnes in fingers of both hands.  Thought it might be a pinched nerve, MRI ruled that out.  Diabetes, nope.  My neurologist performed a spinal tap, which showed an elevated protein in the fluid.  Nerve conductivity test revealed damaged nerves, and EMG showed weakness in muscles.  Treatment can include steroids, IVIg, or a plasma exchange.  I start next week, so I am not sure of results.  Symptoms I have experienced are:  numbness, loss of balance, weakness (mostly in legs but also upper body), electrical sensations in feet-- small shocks,  fatigue, and muscle twitching in various spots of my body.  I am 32 years old and have had a clean bill of health, and active life until now.  Hope this may help!!!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi.   I just wanted to throw something into the basket -- you can research it and see how it sounds.  
Have you had any minor / major trauma to the original place of numbness/ burning?  Look into "complex regional pain syndrome" or, formely known as "Reflex sympathetic dystrophy"    This syndrome can sometimes start out in one location and travel up or across your body giving you unpleasant sensations.  It does not _typically_ present this way, but, it's worth it a shot.  Gabapentin could be helpful...  So would tricyclic antidepressant medications (for their pain-relieving qualities).   But talk to a good physician first before trying anything new.
Hope you do better.  Sometimes cognitive or biofeedback therapy can help as well.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have several herniations in my back at L4/L5, L5/S1, T1/T2, C3/C4. I also have cronic (chronic) pain problems with marked morning stiffness, and joint pains. However Rheunmatoid has been ruled out as well as other problems. I am however experiecening numbness in my right foot. The numbness is on the right side of my right foot, extending to the 4th toe. I also have numbness and have for allmost 1 year on my right big toe only at the top of the toe not the sides or the top. What I can't understand is why this is happening. I have had MRI scans, CT scans, and several other tests. I have some nevere involvement but not on the right side. I have been told that the L4/L5 herniation is herniated in such a way that it can move from side to side causing pain down both legs but I was never told that numbness could happen. Is it possible that it's getting worse? Is it possible that I have permenant never damage?

I have had a hard time trying to get the doc's in the UK to give me the surgery that I need and what I should have done in the USA! Is it worth paying for it myself, or would it do more damage than good where the pain and numbeness would be just as bad before the surgery?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have had diffuse numbness through out my body which does switch to unilateral numbness (one side) and tingling on the other.  It is so strange.  i cannot feel a thing most of the time then suddenly I will get this intense tingling in my arms and feet on the left side of my body with a tingling sensation on the right side of my head.  As well, when I try to sleep I feel this tingling that travels from my chest upto my neck.  I am uncertain of what my diagnosis will be.  The neurologist I am suppose to see is out of town until Monday.  I am honestly quite worried.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, I have demylen. polyn neuropathy with ANS was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
22 hrs ago by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank