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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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I woke up yesterday morning with a SHARP pain in my right leg

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I woke up yesterday morning with a SHARP pain in my right leg (right under my knee in the back). It only hurts when I walk and I have to walk on my toes on that leg because if I put my heel down, it is excruciating. I do have arthritis but this has never happened before. I didn't do anything that I know of. I am 26, a smoker, and I work from home on the computer all day. When I sit down, I am fine but when I get up, I can barely move. Now, I woke up this morning and it is still the same but my left shoulder is also hurting. I have looked up a few things, including blood clot, bakers cyst, and a sciatic nerve. I have pain medication for my arthritis but that isn't helping at all.

Are you feeling any shortness of breath?
Do you have any swelling in the leg?
Bruising or redness?
Do you take birth control?

Dr abby
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Dr.

I am not feeling a shortness of breath. My knees swell because of my arthritis but it is not swollen where the pain is. It looks red to me but my boyfriend said it wasn't really red. No, I don't take birth control. Thank you!

Thank you for clarifying Marissa,

Is the lower leg swollen at all (the calf?)
What type of arthritis do you have? Rheumatoid?

Dr Abby

Edited by Dr. Abby on 10/1/2010 at 3:24 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Dr.

The lower leg isn't swollen. I don't know if this helps but when I stand up, my foot automatically goes down and it makes me very weak. I have to grab onto something so that I don't fall. I do have rheumatoid arthritis. I also have a slight tear in my femur.

Can you flex your foot back up towards your knee? (big toe up towards the sky?) Are you tripping when you walk?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I can flex it when I am sitting down but it still hurts but when I stand up, I cannot do it. I am not tripping but I am limping since I can only walk on my toes on that leg.

It almost sounds like you have a foot drop, which is nerve damage that most commonly occurs at the head of the fibula (the bone is at the outside of the knee).
If you cross your legs frequently, this can injure the nerve, leading to weakness of the muscles that help to flex the foot.

However, most people with true foot drop have to swing their leg outward when walking.
So, you don't quite fit that clinical picture.

Here is information about foot drop for you to read to see if it fits:

A problem with your calf is also a consideration given the pain you have with flexion of the foot. A DVT is a possibility and for this reason I strongly recommend that you see your doctor for an evaluation. While you don't have any other of the classic symptoms (swelling of the calf, warmth or ?redness), I still feel that you need to be checked out.

Baker's cysts are usually pretty obvious as you can feel them in the back of the knee unless they have ruptured.

So, to summarize, I strongly urge you to see your doctor today given the severity of your symptoms--DVT and a nerve problem are what I feel need to be ruled out.

Feel free to ask any follow up questions and I will be happy to discuss further,

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Dr. Abby,

Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it! It has helped a lot and I will definitely go see my doctor. The funny thing was that I went to the doctor's on Wednesday for my monthly appointment and it happened on Thursday when I woke up (yesterday). If I have any other medical questions (which I am sure I will), I will definitely come to you. Again, I appreciate it and I am going to accept it and leave positive feedback now. I hope you have a great weekend!

Thank you Marissa,

I hope you enjoy your weekend as well.

Dr Abby