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Old 05-09-2012, 10:35 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2012
Location: seattle, WA
Posts: 2
travispavis HB User
35 year old male concerned about atrophy.


I am an active 35 year old male. About a year ago I was playing tennis 4 nights a week or more. I began noticing that the CMC joint (the joint of the thumb where it meets the thenar muscle in the palm) in my right thumb (I'm right handed) was swollen and painful and it seemed as though the bulging bone was 50% larger in size than my left hand. IT was very bothersome. As the next several months went on- I would be using my hand fine- not "weakness" per se, but the bone joint continued to hurt on and off. During this time I also was thumb texting on my cell phone religiously and had some issues to where I had to switch up my mouse on my computer at work (I work at a computer 8-10 hours a day typing and mousing) to my left hand so i wouldn't have to use my right because of the sorenes/pain in the CMC joint. Recently though, I've noticed tangible atrophy in my right hand- thenar AND hypothenar muscles. The consistency of the muscles is somewhat softer and mushier than my non-dominant left-hand. when I flex my hand muscles the "atrophied" hand's muscles are definitely softer and not as hard/tense in a flexed state as my left... does this constitute weakness? I've also been noticing some twitching all over my body- and I have been under a lot of stress. I have historically had problems swalloing- since my teens and believe I also suffer from Diffuse Esophageal Spasms with simultaneous dysphagia.

One other thing of note- I had a very very bad break of my right leg 3 years ago and was in a cast for 5-6 months. I never really ran the full course of Physical therapy, and thus my muscles in my right leg remained atrophied. There is an explanation for the leg atrophy- but NO apparent explanation for the thenar/hypothenar wasting. Very concerned about it. Again I don't "feel" any weakness per se, and haven't noticed any dropping, difficulty in twisting lids (except when the pain in my thumb's CMC joint makes it difficult). What the heck else could cause hand atrophy?

also, my son was in the ER last night for something that was mild, and I had an ER doctor look at and feel my hand, and he definitiely said there was atrophy.

a couple more symptoms- I've been getting heart palpitations maybe 6-12 a day- mainly when lying down like a beat or two skip. I've had an EKG and they said it was textbook a month ago. Also, the vertebrae in my spine are very sore to the press. My wife presses on each one and they are painful, especially the particular vertebrae where my Diffuse Esophageal Spasms seem to originate from. I know these aren't als-related but full disclosure is good.

Bottom line is what in the world is the source of the hand atrophy?

Thanks for being helpful.

Last edited by travispavis; 05-09-2012 at 10:36 AM.

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