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During the last couple of months a vein was closed in my

right leg and last Friday...
During the last couple of months a vein was closed in my right leg and last Friday I had a check up and things are getting normal.
But the doctor noticed for the first time that my left leg is thinner than the right one, even with noticable less hair. I have to do an artery dobbler test this week. What are the reasons for the thinner left leg.
Thank you
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/3/2012
Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11,637
Experience: 20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
Verified
RickMD :

I am online and happy to help you with your question today.

RickMD :

That is a very good question.

RickMD :

What medical problems do you have and what medications do you take?

RickMD :

Is the thinner leg weaker than the other?

RickMD :

Did the doctor do a complete exam of the leg with multiple measurements, checking pulses, reflexes etc?

Customer:

NO. i HAVE PAIN IN BOTH LEGS. Doctors presume due to Lyme disease i had five years ago.

Customer:

No. just looking. actually it is noticable one leg is thinner than the other.

RickMD :

Ok. So. Both legs are equal in strength and function, but the doctor did not do anything other then just look at the legs....no measurements, no testing reflexes, no checking pulses....and then ordered a blood flow study? Do I have this correct so far?

RickMD :

Can you tell me more about this episode of lymes you had 5 year ago? How were you treated? What signs and symptoms did you have?

Customer:

yes. the doctor was dealing with the closed vein in the right leg.

Customer:

is the doctor still online?

RickMD :

yes.

RickMD :

Sorry. I forgot to finish some paperwork on my last patient and my nurse came into my office to yell at me :)

RickMD :

Ok. Well, this difference between your two legs may be due to a couple of things. First off, it is possible that your right leg is large due to the clot....although that would not account for the decreased hair...

RickMD :

You have not told me about your lymes history but, in any event, I do not think that would be the most likely cause of your thinner left leg.

RickMD :

Since your leg is working normally the decreased is most likely not from nerve damage and secondary muscle atrophy, although this may cause some decrease in size before functions is compromised in some cases....

Customer:

Unfortunately the doctors in a reputable hospital did not discover the lyme disease at first. there were no physical signs on my body of a bite. they only discovered it after they took a sample from my backbone. i was then given the standard treatment of antibiotics. They acknowledged that this had an impact on my nervous system. I take daily pain killers .

RickMD :

Ok. At least you received therapy, even thought it had got to the later stages of the disease.

Customer:

But my current doctor confirms that closing a vein in my right leg has nothing to do with lyme disease.

RickMD :

That is correct. First of all, the lymes should be gone from your body since you got treated. Also, lymes doesn't lead to blood clots. I've, personally, had lymes twice :(

RickMD :

At this point you need a complete evaluation and comparison of your legs, with measurements, weights, doppler blood flow studies and, possibly, even nerve conduction and muscle function studies.

RickMD :

It sounds from what your have posted that your MD is doing a good job of getting started figuring what is going on with your left leg

RickMD :

Of course, you do understand that slight variations between your two legs is normal and to be expected....

Customer:

You mean to say that my right leg is bigger due to the procedures of closing vein and due to this fact my left leg looks thinner. This is true. before starting the closing vein procedures my right leg was bigger than the left, BUT, THE SWOLLEN has decreased after the procedures. IF the swollen came back to my right leg while my left leg kept being the same.?????

RickMD :

I was only mentioning all the different ways that your left leg could be thinner, not saying that any particular one of these ways is what is going on. This is called a differential diagnosis list and is how doctors work when thinking about a problem so they can come up with an answer.....

RickMD :

From what you have posted it doesn't seem like your doctor is very far along at this point at pinpointing what the cause of the difference between your two legs.

RickMD :

Getting blood flow studies is a very good step but, as you can see from my post, in addition to doing tests a complete physical exam needs to be done

RickMD :

I am sure, however, that with a complete physical examination and directed imaging and specialized testing the cause of the inequality between your right and left leg can be found

RickMD :

Are you still there?

Customer:

Yes. just on last Friday she clearly noticed the thin right leg: the previous appointment was 2 months ago

Customer:

Sorry "the thin left Leg"

RickMD :

You mean the left leg....

RickMD :

got it :)

RickMD :

Ok. Well, it sounds like she is on it and you are in good hands. It is very positive that you do not have any loss of function, feeling etc. I would bet that, in the long run, everything should be OK

RickMD :

Does this answer your question to your satisfaction?


Customer:

I guess so. Thank you

RickMD :

My pleasure. Have a good day.

RickMD :

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick

Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11,637
Experience: 20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
Verified
Dr. Rick, MD and 87 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
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Hi,
I was just thinking about you today and wondering what your doctor has found in her workup. What is it that is causing your left leg to be thinner than your right?
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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11,637
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Experience: 20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC

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