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Leg weakness Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Leg weakness. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you noticed weakness in your leg?

    Why: to establish if acute or chronic.

  2. What areas of the leg are affected by the weakness?

    Why: e.g. foot, lower leg, thigh.

  3. Are both legs affected by weakness and is it symmetrical?- helps determine which joints, muscles and /or nerves may be affected e.g. peripheral muscle weakness due to peripheral neuropathy is symmetrical compared with individual nerve or nerve root disease which should be suspected if weakness is asymmetrical or confined to one limb
  4. Is the foot also affected by the weakness?

    Why: helps to determine which muscles and/or nerves are affected.

  5. Aggravating factors?

    Why: helps to determine the cause of leg weakness e.g. muscle power decreases with use in myasthenia gravis.

  6. History of trauma?

    Why: can determine possible cause of leg weakness.

  7. Past medical history?

    Why: diabetes and chronic renal failure can be a cause of peripheral neuropathy ; diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol are risk factors for cerebrovascular disease.

  8. Dietary history? Vitamin B12 deficiency can be a cause of peripheral neuropathy
  9. Medications?

    Why: some medications can cause peripheral neuropathy e.g. amiodarone, phenytoin, nitrofurantoin; some medications may increase risk of thrombotic cerebrovascular disease e.g. oral contraceptive pill , hormone replacement therapy; some medications can increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke e.g. warfarin.

  10. Cigarette smoking?

    Why: is a major risk factor for cerebrovascular disease.

  11. Alcohol history?

    Why: can be a cause of peripheral neuropathy.

  12. Family history?

    Why: Stokes, Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Hypertension, Hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

  13. Leg pain?

    Why: a painful joint or muscle disease may interfere with assessment of leg power.

  14. Leg paresthesia?

    Why: if there is also paresthesia in the involved extremity this usually suggests neuropathy (disease of the nerves) as a cause.

  15. Back pain?

    Why: may indicate that the cause of leg weakness originates from disorders of the lumbar spine.

  16. Are there any other areas of the body which are weak?

    Why: e.g. weakness of the muscles of the face would suggest a diagnosis of cerebrovascular disease, a mass in the brain or spinal cord.

  17. Headaches?

    Why: may suggest cerebrovascular disease or mass in brain.

  18. Symptoms of stroke?

    Why: e.g. difficulty with speaking, difficulty with swallowing, visual field defects, cranial nerve palsies, weakness of the arm and leg on the same side, spasticity of affected limbs.

  19. Symptoms of Diabetes mellitus?

    Why: e.g. frequency of urination, excessive thirst, weight loss, fatigue, increased infections. Diabetes may be complicated by a painful peripheral neuropathy with a glove and stocking pattern numbness or a neuropathy that features predominantly muscle weakness.

  20. Symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome?

    Why: e.g. symptoms begin 7-10 days after an infective illness. It results in muscle paralysis which typically ascends from the lower to the upper limbs. Sensory loss (numbness) is usually minimal. The disease usually begins 7-10 days after an infective illness.

  21. Symptoms of acute lower limb ischemia?

    Why: e.g. sudden severe leg pain, pallor of skin, paresthesia or numbness of lower leg, paralysis or weakness of leg.

  22. Symptoms of spinal canal stenosis?

    Why: e.g. long history of backache; pain initially in the lumbar back area and then radiating distally into buttocks and legs; numbness may be present in groin, medial thigh, big toe or little toe; with continued nerve root compression may get muscle weakness.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Leg weakness:

The following list of conditions have 'Leg weakness' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Leg weakness or choose View All.

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