Suggest treatment for severe cramps in legs and thighs

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Posted on Fri, 7 Aug 2015 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: How do you distinguish between bad muscle cramps and bacterial tetanus? My partner has had severe cramps in his leg and thigh muscles (front and back) the past two nights. The cramps last about 10-20 minutes and then he can walk them off. He is worried it is tetanus. We are not sure when his last tetanus shot was. He thinks it may have been more than 5 years ago. How can we be sure it is simple electrolyte problems? XXXXXXX
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
history of a wound, other symptoms- lock jaw, neck stiffness, muscle rigid

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

There are various differences: (1)tetanus would follow a wound infection. This bacterial infection occurs after a wound has been infected by the bacterial clostridium tetani

(2)there would be additional symptoms- tetanus is associated with additional symptoms

Initial sore throat with difficulty swallowing

lock jaw, neck stiffness, muscle rigidity/stiffness in a descending pattern from the face/jaw over a 24 to 48 hour period

In addition there is increased temperature, sweating, increased blood pressure.

The symptoms would not go away spontaneously as with your partner, there would be progression.

Based on this, unless these other symptoms are present then he does not have tetanus

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16806 Questions

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