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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Message Board

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Board Index

I am very worried. My father in law for about 2 months now has been having pain in the back of his thigh. It's not constant pain, it's relieved by rest but if he tries to do too much he says it hurts. He has also mentioned occasional numbness. He is pretty active, not vigorous exercise, but always going places and doing something. He is 75. He hasn't mentioned any weakness or twitching, just pain in the thigh. His general doctor is the one who referred him to the neurologist thinking it might be sciatica, and he DID have sciatica once before which had cleared up on its own. I'm no expert but it doesn't sound like sciatica to me because the pain is tolerable and I though sciatica was constant, not intermittent, and not alleviated by rest.

He had an MRI (no results yet until his upcoming appointment this coming Friday), and the neurologist did say his reflexes are normal on one side, less so on the other. That's what scares me the most.

With anyone else I probably wouldn't think much of it, but in his family ALS is genetic. His father had it, 2 of his sisters, and another sister who is not affected yet (knock wood) but we know she's a carrier because 2 of HER sons have it. So now every time my father in law has pain of any sort my anxieties immediately go through the roof. He has had arterial circulation problems in the leg twice (and had surgery twice) and I was freaking out over that too until they said it was vascular.

I've read that it's highly unusual for ALS to first present itself at such a late age (75), but then again one of his sisters that had it was 70 when it hit (and died 3 months short of turning 72) so that theory sort of goes out the window. I've also read that pain is not typical, at least not until muscle wasting which causes cramps is well under way. He has no noticeable weakness or wasting. I've also read that symtoms typically start distally, such as in the hands or feet and work their way in...not starting in a thigh. One other thing I've also learned by reading is that you can't count on anything when it comes to this rotten disease.

He has been going to physical therapy for a few weeks, being hooked up to a stimulator for 15 minutes 3 times a week but he says it hasn't helped. EMS or TENS (I'm not sure exactly which it is) is used to stimulate muscles or nerves and is said to alleviate pain. Friday is his next neuro appointment and I'm scared of what will come of it.

Am I being irrational in my fears or am I getting myself all frazzled over nothing?

Pain in the thigh with diminished reflex in a 75 year noticeable weakness or wasting, no twitching. Only pain. Not a "typical" symptom from what I've heard, but there is a definite risk of having inherited a screwy gene.

I'd like to hear others' opinions and hopefully tell me I'm just out of my mind :)

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