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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes intense cramps in the left hamstring and pain shooting up the back?

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Dr. Rishu Saxena

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 696 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 25 May 2018 in Veins and Arteries
Question: Last night I started having cramps in my feet - which is not unusual as I can normally rub the cramps out. However last night I experienced intense leg cramps in my left hamstring, quad and calf. I got up to try and stretch them out and my pain only got worse. I am a woman 58 years old; diagnosed with Afib. As I said as I tried to walk the cramps out they only got worse and the pain on a scale of 1-10 was a 20. Then I couldn't feel my foot as I was trying to walk so I slightly bent over and balanced myself against the wall. When I tried to straighten my back to walk back to my bed (about 5 steps) the pain shot to my back and I could not straighten up as it also caused the pain in my leg to intensify even more. As I was trying to get back to the bed I was on the verge of passing out. I made it to my bed laid down flat and was still very dizzy and trying pass out, sweating, and clammy. After about 3-4 minutes the feeling of passing out subsided somewhat; my heart was beating really fast and I could actually feel the pulsating of blood on the inside of my left thigh. I still could not rub the cramps out and tried to bend my knee and that just got the symptoms all over again. I laid really still with my hand on top of the pulsating taking place right above my left inner knee for about an hour and a half. My heart was still racing and within that hour while laying down I became nauseous and had the passing out feeling come over me another 3 times. I never lost consciousness and the only thing I could do was lay there and take the pain of the intense cramping as when I moved it became worse. These has never happened to me before and it really scared me. I thought about calling 911, but I couldn't get out of my bed to unlock my door (I live by myself). I literally thought I was going to die.
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Answered by Dr. Rishu Saxena 12 hours later
Brief Answer:
Can be severe ischemia due to clot migration.

Detailed Answer:
Hello ma'am,
I've gone through your details and I appreciate your concerns.

As you are a patient with atrial fibrillation there are probabilities of migration of clot to your leg.
Extreme pain with all symptoms you are having can be suggestive of severe ischemia (lack of blood supply) in your legs.

I would suggest you visit your nearest emergency room and get a doppler ultrasound of leg done to rule out the possibility of severe ischemia at the earliest.

No medications are adviced unless ultrasound doppler is done.

Thanks!


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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