Do I have a horrid disease?
July 13, 2010 4:35 PM   Subscribe

I have clonus, should I worry?

About 8 years ago I had a knee reconstruction. Before the surgery, the surgeon checked my reflexes. He seemed shocked that I had clonus. I had no idea what it was at the time. He said "Clonus! (with an aghast look) Well I suppose we will have to look at that later, no reason to not do the surgery." It freaked me out a bit since you could hit this doctor with an axe and he would maintain his passive, stoic demeanor.

After I recovered a bit, I Googled "clonus" and scared the hell out of myself. Well of course, I never followed up.

The leg that manifested clonus is a mess with a really arthritic knee. I have really messed up knees (the knee cap rides on the side of the bone, rather than in the middle, they dislocate easily). So, could the clonus be a symptom of the messed up leg? I take a low dose (lowest actually) Zoloft for anxiety disorder.

I know I should go to the doctor. But I really and truly hate going to the doctor. I have comprehensive health insurance. I just hate hate hate going. Its been 8 years and I don't seem to have any horrible neurological disease. I have gone to the doctor's for other things over the past 8 years and I have had three major surgeries (not including the knee reconstruction). One reason I am terrified of going to the doctor is I don't want to have any more surgery or procedures. I almost died with the last one (prayers and last rites, the whole going toward the light thing).

So if you know anything about this, tell me. Other than telling me to go to the doctor, 'cause I already know that.
posted by fifilaru to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
I have a couple beats of clonus in both knees. My right knee is fairly messed up. The clonus has been there as long as I can remember. I'm a firefighter and I haven't failed a physical yet.

Do you know what the extent of the clonus was?

The paramedic on the couch behind me says three or fewer beats can be considered normal unless there's some reason to worry (e.g. it gets worse over time, history of neurological issues in the family, worse in just one knee). Then again, I've never seen him test anyone for clonus so who knows whether it's in his scope of practice.

He also says some rather rude things about going to the doctor already, etc. Maybe you can talk to someone about it if you have to go for a physical or a followup for some other reason?
posted by skyl1n3 at 5:57 PM on July 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: It was way more than 5 beats. It was like I was keeping time with a fast song and went on for a while.
posted by fifilaru at 6:17 PM on July 13, 2010

Response by poster: It is just one side. So I know more than 5 beats and just on one side is not good.

Yup, I should go to the doctor. I just emailed my doctor. :(
posted by fifilaru at 6:19 PM on July 13, 2010

You should tell whoever gets you your Zoloft, too, and tell them if you were on SSRIs or not when the clonus was detected. Clonus sometimes goes along with serotonin issues.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 8:39 PM on July 13, 2010

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