Page 1 of 1

Dents and Atrophy

PostPosted: January 10th, 2008, 3:21 pm
by kit
This information is being provided to allay common fears and worries associated with normal antatomical variants. This is from another thread and I am hoping by making this easily accessible it will help people find this information quickly.

This goes for everyone on this entire site and will serve as a public service announcement as there seems to be a definite trend You have dents and alterations in the contours of your body. One side will always be different than the other side. The things that everyone seems to be noticing are normal anatomical landmarks that you have likely had for years. They may be more or less prominent due to:
water weight
muscle mass
handedness - right hand or left hand dominance
work activities - repetitive actions etc
crossing your legs
wearing heels
wearing flats/athletic shoes

God has created these little dents and grooves in our bodies to serve as an area for nerves to pass without entrapment, as a place for tendons to sit, because He decided that the placement of the muscles/bones would function better.

The reason we notice these little normal anatomical differences is because unfortunately with this condition we are constantly self testing or looking to evaluate and reevaluate if there has been a change. Trust me if you really examined one side of your face compared to the other you would be shocked to note that your eyes are not the same size, your lids may not open to the same amount that your jaw is not in the midline, that one nostril is larger than the other, that there are more wrinkles on one side that the other and that your hair is thicker on one side of your head than the other.

Please, please please, trust me when I say this to you as I have instructed many student doctors on this....when there is a true pathologic difference in ANYTHING, we do not have to squint our eyes and examine and reexamine. It is quite obvious and comes with a whole plethora of other symptoms and complaints. Unless you are very familiar with anatomy, you are not in a position to question the little dents because likely they are quite normal. Medicine is quite logical and the bad stuff, it follows a pattern. So in this instance before you panic as to whether or not a dent on one side of your body is something awful, please remember:

When you hear hoofbeats, you should always assume horses first. Never expect zebras or worse yet, flying unicorns.

Please know that I am not trying to be mean or sarcastic but offering this in an effort to help allay the fears of many people.

Re: Dents and Atrophy

PostPosted: January 13th, 2008, 11:44 pm
by valger59
I would just like to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for that post!! How reassuring~~I also, like so many others on this board, have become fixated on a few 'dents' on my body that I am just so sure just recently appeared, and spend too much time comparing sides, and checking in different lighting, etc. I remember the first dent I found, which was on my outer calf, just threw me into a panic. I think my son wanted to have me committed that night. I was SURE at that point it was als. Since then, I have found many other 'dents'. The funny thing is, I now notice other people's hands, do you guys do this? For instance, I was watching a movie the other night with MIchelle Pfifer (sp?)...and anyway, a scene was showing her hands, and I remember thinking, wow, it looks like she has atrophy! Cause, she had these big dents, and things that I know I'd be worried about if I saw on my hands. I know it's not like being there, and lighting is a big deal and all of that, but I'm just pointing out that with this illness, I think that things that other people wouldn't even think twice about are a huge deal to us. It almost reminds of me anorexia, and the way you hear that those people with that actually SEE themselves as heavy. I mean, it's really what they see, not what we are looking at when we see them. It's a brain disorder, and it reminds me of the dent thing in that I can show someone in my family something, and they will almost laugh at me, while I'm sitting there saying "Don't you see that???" Anyway, thanks for the post, that is just great. Thanks, Val

Re: Dents and Atrophy

PostPosted: May 14th, 2008, 9:22 pm
by vmarsh

I'm a new member here and just wanted to say that I was also pretty content with the BFS diagnosis until I too noticed a dent in the side of my right calf (where most of my twitches are). This sent me into a frenzy all over again. Are asymmetrical dents common as well? I know I spend too much time analysing my body and it just ends up worrying me to bits. Ugh. Not sure how to push past this. I guess time will tell...if the dent increases--bad. Thanks for your post though, it is comforting to know that I'm not alone in this.


Re: Dents and Atrophy

PostPosted: July 14th, 2008, 9:44 am
by Tom A
It has been two months since your post, how is the dent in your calf doing? My twitching is, by far, the worst in my right calf. And since it has started, there is without question a good size dent or void in the back of the calf muscle when a flex it, it is the one thing my wife acutally agree's has really happened. At a Neuro appointment, I showed it to the neurlogist and said "that is atrophy". He pulled out a tape measure and measured both my calves and said my right calf is bigger than my left, and I should be more worried about my left calf, jokingly of course. He said he saw no atrophy of the calf muscles, and the difference in the sizes was well within the norm. Since I learned the measuring trick that day, for the next 4 months I would measure on a monthly basis my major muscle groups and log the measurements, my wife thought I was crazy. I would swear I would see changes, but the mass always stayed the same. I am not sure why that dent developed, but this helped me accept it is not a sign of a dire neurological disease. Try measuring your calf, it helped me

Re: Dents and Atrophy

PostPosted: August 22nd, 2008, 6:01 pm
by vmarsh
Hey Tom,

Thanks for writing. I haven't been on this site in 2 months, and I consider myself to be in remission from my ALS fear. I am still twitching, but probably not noticing it quite so much. I do get the constant ones, again mostly in my calves. To answer your question, I still do have the dent, same as it's always been. I have learned that it is just natural variation. Not atrophy. Hope all is still well with you.


Re: Dents and Atrophy

PostPosted: September 15th, 2012, 12:41 am
by Bosley22
Hey guys,
I could use a little reaassurance right now. It's about 12:40 am in Chicago right now and i was just getting ready for bed. As i was laying down i looked at my left hand and noticed a "dent" in it near the knuckle of my pointer finger. Its a decent sized dent that i also seem to have on my right, although not nearly as pronounced. I'm trying to remember what all the vets have told me but i could really use some wise words from the old timers. I'm seven months into this, shouldn't this be getting any easier. At seven months isn't it safe to say i'm ok.

Thanks, Chad