• Question about the Neuro Exam

    I received this question from a user on the old WebMD platform:

    Q: I am not dx with anything (I didn't see a Neurology forum however) I have had random neurological symptoms for more than 15 years. In April I got up one morning and instead of getting up like normal my body veered to the right, I then went on to experience vertigo like symptoms for some time. It got better for a few weeks and then came back. I couldn't walk strait to save my life. LOL especially first thing in the morning. My PCP sent me to ENT, then a cardiologist, and now to the Neurologist. I had my apt on Monday. *side note, I have had other symptoms as well such as weakness in arms and legs and numbness in hands and left leg. I have had tingling and a tremor (which I have had once in the past only on the other hand) my legs feel like Jello and the muscles feel so tired.*

    OK my question is. Is it typical for a neurologist after completing the exam to not say one way or another how I did? what was normal, what was not?? Because this doctor didn't say a word. This is bugging me now. I mean because I know some of the things weren't normal. But he didn't elaborate or explain. Like for example my reflexes. I am not sure how all the others were, but when it came to my left leg it was VERY hyper reflexive....It scared me HA! he bopped my knee and my knee shot up like a high kick! That "can't" be normal ... right? Also I could not walk on my heels at all. Those were the only two things that I know of. I don't understand the results of anything else.

    He did order an MRI and a EMG so maybe that should tell me something. But he did say that the balance problems and dizziness was just vertigo, which confused me. *sigh*

    UGH! I am so frustrated!!!

    A: I know from firsthand experience that searching for a diagnosis is extremely frustrating, so I'm sorry you have to go through this! In all likelihood he didn't explain what was abnormal because in neurology it is very difficult to say before seeing test results. We use the neuro exam as an initial screening, and if something seems abnormal it helps us decide what tests to order so that we can get to the bottom of things. I'm hoping you will get some answers after you have your MRI and EMG done, hang in there! In the meantime, you might find this article on the neuro exam helpful: https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/the-neurological-exam-explained/