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Atrophy v Muscle Weakness timeline

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    Atrophy v Muscle Weakness timeline

    Hi again, sorry to bother you. Thank you for your recent help. I have queried a few things with you and am in a much more rational place that I was.

    I am still a wee bit worried which comes and goes rather than being totally focused on this topic and nothing else like I was. Can you just explain to me the order in which atrophy and muscle weakness would present in MND.

    I am pretty sure I am just being a bit of a worrier here. Years ago when playing football, I broke and dislocated my left shoulder. It was a terrible injury and resulted in surgery, physiotherapy etc. Essentially it ended my playing days as it took ages to heal and felt 'weak' for years. I always felt a hard challenge and it may give way again. It now feels more robust after these years of healing but alas I am now to old to play at the level I did so I couldn't test it.

    In conjunction with my recent concerns, I have noticed that this shoulder visually presents a bit differently and looks a little 'bonier' if that makes sense. Rationally I think this has probably always been the case post injury but given my previous concerns I am getting a bit worried about that now. I guess its likely that the heal makes it a bit wonkier than my opposite undamaged one.

    I do not feel weakness in the shoulder and what I am basically asking is, would my shoulder exhibit weakness prior to atrophy or does atrophy happen before weakness? If its the former, I can rest easy.

    Sorry I know I have the offer to call again but I am better at explaining things in type than trying to explain this over the phone.

    Thank you again.

    Good morning

    In my case, I have had weakening before atrophy - for example, now the muscles in my left hand have gone to a large extent my fingers are very stiff - this is quite useful for me because I can prod things and push things from my upper arm and shoulder, even though I cannot grip them.

    Hope this is reassuring?


    ​Diagnosed 03/2015. One sided limb onset (arm) sporadic PMA/MND - now 90% left arm and 90% right arm, plus other bits including both shoulders and also some breathing issues – Campaign contact Winchester and Southampton branch, and trustee of the Association

    "Things turn out the best for people who make the best of the way things turn out"



      I am really pleased to hear that you are in a much better place. It sounds as though you had a really nasty injury to your shoulder. When we break a bone, it never heals in exactly the way that the bone was before the break. This is why people often complain of feeling aches in bones that they have broken many years before. It is often quite normal for a previously broken bone to appear slightly different to a bone which has never been broken.

      Andy is quite right in that weakening appears before atrophy. By the time atrophy is visible, someone would have severe difficulties in using that part of the body.

      Best Wishes

      MND Connect
      Contact us on 0808 802 6262 or at [email protected]


        Thank you Rachel and Andy. This forum is really fantastic.

        Andy, thank you mate. For someone who suffers from this terrible disease to take the time to reassure someone like me with a worry speaks volumes for you.

        I wish you all the best. I have read a few of your posts and your bravery like a few others of the regular contributors on here has moved me. As I type this I have a wee tear in my eye. I find your spirit incredibly inspiring. Take care.

        Thank you again.