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stiffness
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stiffness

A couple of years ago I woke up one morning with tingling in my legs stiffness in my feet and ankles. I went to a Neurology right away. I had all the test needed to check for MS those test came back negitive. I also want to let you know my sister and first cousin have MS. after a while those feeling went away, now a year later if is come back worse then before. My legs feel like a pinchy feeling my knees feel stiff, my feet and ankles are very stiff. I also feel at times that I am wearing tong underwear. The worse part of all this when I lie down or sit it feels worse then when I am walking. It seems my  and ankles don't want to move at all. I do have another appointment with the Doctor but it is not until next month, which is a long time. My question to you can this still be MS or are there other disease that have the same feelings.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.

Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of your symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

In general, tingling in the legs could be of neurologic cause. The problem could be in the central nervous system (brain or spinal cord; when both legs are involved it is more likely to be the spinal cord). Multiple sclerosis is one condition that can cause inflammation in the spinal cord, leading to such symptoms. Others include post-infectious problems, autoimmune disorders, and others. Multiple sclerosis is a disease that primarily affects the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves from the eye, the optic nerves). Symptoms may be mild to severe, ranging from tingling and numbness to paralysis. There is not one test alone or one symptom that can diagnose MS, but there are well-established criteria that help neurologists make the diagnosis. These include taking a thorough history, doing a thorough physical exam, conducting an MRI of the brain with gadolinium (contrast, similar to dye) and sometimes MRI of the spine, and sometimes ancillary testing such as lumbar puncture and evoked potentials. If an MRI of the brain and spine is normal, the diagnosis of MS becomes highly unlikely.

On the other hand, another problem that causes symptoms in both legs is not a problem with the spine cord per se, but rather the spinal column; narrowing of the spinal column can lead to symptoms in both legs, including pain on walking relieved by rest or bending forward. Spinal stenosis can be diagnosed with MRI of the spine.

Based on  history and examination, the neurologist may localize your problem not to the central nervous system but rather the peripheral nervous system (the nerves in the arms and legs, a problem in which would be termed neuropathy). One of the most common causes of neuropathy is diabetes, but there are many other causes. Symptoms including burning or buzzing or other vague symptoms starting in the feet and hands then in some cases spreading to other parts of the body. The diagnosis of neuropathy is made by findings on a test called EMG/NCS which assess how well the nerve conduct electricity and how well muscles respond.

If your prominent symptoms are stiffness of the joints themselves, the problem could be rheumatologic, or musculoskeletal (muscle/joint/bone problem).

As you can see there are several potential causes to your symptoms. Follow-up with your physician at your appointment is a good idea.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
2 Comments
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562511_tn?1285907760
I appreciate your informative responses.   Thank you.

Karen

(visiting from the MS forum)
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