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twitching and muscle cramps
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twitching and muscle cramps

I am a 37 year old male.  Symptons started over 3 weeks ago with severe leg (mostly calfs) cramps while sleeping.  This progressed to constant twitching in both legs (especially at rest although even when I am sitting in a chair the calves and hamstrings twitch).  I also have spasms in my left foot area that make my foot move by itself when I am lying down.  I saw a Neuro two weeks back and he gave me an office exam and then had me go for an immediate emg and nerve conductivity test along with an MRI of my lower spine.  (Should have stated earlier that I had back surgeory on a lumbar disc three years ago becuase of extreme sciatica and signs of foot drop in my left foot then).  The EMG came back normal with the exception of the lower left leg.  The docotor who did the emg said the results were indicative of something going on in the spine.  MRI results showed moderate herniation at L4/5 with severe narrowing.  Doctors believe this stenosis could be causing the twithcing, spasms and cramps in both my legs.  I am still concerned about things like MS or Parkinsons.  I have an occassional twitch in my arm muscles but nothing like my legs.  These mostly appear in my bicept and elbow.  Should I be worried about these other diseases and ask for a work up for MS as well?

Thanks for you help.
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First of all, keep in mind that I am unable to diagnose you because I am unable to examine you, this forum is for educational purposes.
   The signs and symptoms you describe are consistent with spinal cord disease, likely related to your disc herniation and spinal stenosis.  When a focal area of the spinal cord is damaged then is sends out discharges that cause random jerks in the muscles it controls (called spinal myoclonus).  The fact that you already have foot drop from a previous nerve injury indicates the severity of your disease.  A ssep (somatosensory evoked potential) could confirm your spinal cord dysfunction at this level.  Treatment is surgical.  
  MS (multiple sclerosis) presents with focal deficits that then improve back to baseline or alomost baseline in 2-6 weeks.  One does not usually see twitching with MS, but in the later stages of the disease, they might experience clonus (the repeated jerking of the legs in response to pressure/use due to spasticity.  An MRI of your brain and cervical spine could help evaluate for this condition.
   Parkinsons disease presents with tremor (usually in one arm), slowness of movements (often with freezing in place at times) and lack of facial expression.  A clinical evaluation using the UPDRS (unified parkinsons disease rating scale) will be able to stratify your risk of developing this disease.
   As far as you other twitches, they are likely benign fasiculations and unrelated.  Another possibility is multi-focal myoclonus, often associated with metabolic/toxic problems, dementias, some cancers and post-viral syndromes.
   I hope this has been helpful.
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Avatar_n_tn

Hi

What a coincidence, I took my husband - who has the same symptoms - to see our doctor today. (Hubby broke his back (L5) in a fall about 13 years ago. He can walk with the aid of 2 sticks.)  His legs jerk and twitch when he's lying down. The doc said 'Restless Legs' - and arranged for him to have some blood tests. It's always the same - 'Restless Legs' - very frustrating!  His hands often tremble as well, and he can't hold a cup or a pen.  'Restless arms' I suppose!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am very confused.  I have right foot drop and atrophy of the right leg.  I have completed all possible testing for MS, ALS- etc.  All that has come up is a very subtly abnormal EMG (arm, leg, back).  In my MRI, I have a torn disc at S1, L5- but am told over and over that this could not possible cause my symptoms.  Why not?  I went to a physiatrist and once he found out I was being considered for ALS and was working with a local neurologist- he wouldn't touch me! All of my antibody levels, ms panel, vitamin def., viral, blood, spinal, CT, MRI, EEG- etc- all normal! Where should I go?  My dr. is just waiting for me to exhibit additional symptoms.  I don't want to wait any longer as it has already been 10 months since my foot drop first started.  I am 32, female and in great shape otherwise!
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Avatar_n_tn

Hi LizLennard, My colleague has foot drop, caused by wear and tear damage to his lumbar spine during his working life. There's plenty of stuff on Google, e.g., an excerpt from a case which shows foot drop caused by disc problems at S1, L5:
'Dr. Campbell suspected a herniated disc at L5-S1 and ordered a CT scan from L3 to S1 of the claimant's back. 14. As a result of Dr. Campbell's evaluation that the claimant's back was involved, he referred the claimant to Dr. Joseph Vargas in Rutland who first saw the claimant on February 16, 1999. Dr. Vargas diagnosed the claimant with a large disc herniation at L5-S1 on the right with radiculopathy. He noted at the first visit that the claimant had foot drop, meaning that he was unable to lift his foot, resulting in a "slap gait." On March 9, 1999 Dr. Vargas performed a laminectomy and discectomy at L5-S1 on the right. 16.... '
www.state.vt.us/labind/wcdecisions/2001/G05645pearson.txt

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,
I am a 40 year old male. A few weeks ago I began to experience arm jerking in my left arm. This usually happens when at rest. It has progressed so that it is now rhythmic in my left hand and arm. any thoughts? Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 40 years old and female. The past year or so I have had twitching, mainly in my legs and feet, the left one mainly.
About 2 months ago, my left leg started to jerk when resting. Now my other leg has started to do it as well as my arms and some times my torse jerks forward.
This happens when I am resting.
I am taking magnesium supplements.
Any ideas?
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