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Dr. Cameron
Dr. Cameron, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 12910
Experience:  American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Ivy League trained. Medical Review Officer trained in Drug Testing
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Lower leg/calf pain in both legs awakens me nightly 2-3

Resolved Question:

Lower leg/calf pain in both legs awakens me nightly 2-3 hours after going to bed. Pain is gone as soon as I get out of bed. Raising my knees while lying on my back nearly completely eliminates pain. Arising to urinate seems to deter pain for an hour or so. Never any pain during the day in any position or during any activity. Recent travel, sleeping in several hotel beds, had no effect on discomfort.I am a 65 year old male with blood pressure and colesterol issues, taking 40MG simvastatin, 5/20MG Amlodipine-Benaz and 81MG Ecotrin low strength aspirin daily for the past 5+ years.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Cameron replied 6 years ago.

have you had an ultrasound or doppler study of your legs?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  Dr. Cameron replied 6 years ago.

Well, there are a few things which can be causing leg pain. For one, this could be run of the mill leg cramps, which is usually treated with quinine. However, there can be some other more serious causes of this:

1. muscle inflammation (myositis). This is pretty common with taking statins (although I have noted that you stopped). You need a blood test called CPK to tell

2. electrolyte abnormality. In particular, calcium- high or low

3. peripheral vascular disease- not enough blood flow. You need an angiogram or doppler ultrasound for this.

4. Spinal stenosis- compression of the spinal cord by narrowing of the canal. You may need a MRI of the lumbar spine to rule this out.

I would see you regular doctor and make sure that you do not have the above problems. If you are in the clear, you may want to try quinine for relief

warm regards

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The pain is more of a severe ache than what I would call a cramp. Naturally, I prefer to limit the tests and procedures that may be required to the ones most likely to provide an answer. Are any of the suggestions you provided more likely to be the cause only while in bed? Since it is not exactly a life-threatening condition, is it appropriate to try quinine on my own to see if that helps before going on to other tests?
Expert:  Dr. Cameron replied 6 years ago.

Well, you can rule out electrolyte abnormalitis and myositis with a simple lab test.

In terms of peripheral vascular disease- this is actually very high on my list for you and can be limb and/or life threatening. You need a doppler ultrasound- this is a noninvasive test. You can get the MRI at a later date, on unless you have leg weakness and/or bowel or bladder issues

warm regards

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