Painless legs and moving toes: A syndrome related to painful legs and moving toes?

Authors

  • Dr. Arthur S. Walters,

    Corresponding author
    1. Movement Disorder Group, Department of Neurology, UMDNJ–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.
    2. Neurology Service, Lyons VA Medical Center, Lyons, New Jersey, U.S.A.
    • Department of Neurology–CN 19, UMDNJ–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ 08903–0019, U.S.A
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  • Wayne A. Hening,

    1. Movement Disorder Group, Department of Neurology, UMDNJ–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.
    2. Neurology Service, Lyons VA Medical Center, Lyons, New Jersey, U.S.A.
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  • Shashi K. Shah,

    1. Pacific Physician Services, Redlands, California, U.S.A.
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  • Sudhansu Chokroverty

    1. Movement Disorder Group, Department of Neurology, UMDNJ–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.
    2. Neurology Service, Lyons VA Medical Center, Lyons, New Jersey, U.S.A.
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Abstract

The syndrome of painful legs and moving toes consists of continuous or semicontinuous involuntary writhing movements of the toes associated with pain in the affected extremity. We report a 57-year-old man with a 33-year history of painless and semicontinuous involuntary movements of the toes of the left foot similar to those seen in painful legs and moving toes. There was no family history of movement disorder. The history and physical examination were negative for significant trauma, radiculopathy, or peripheral neuropathy. There were no other neurological findings or involuntary movements. It is unlikely that the involuntary movements were precipitated by neuroleptics or psychosis. CT scan of the head; EEG, CT, and MRI scans of the lumbosacral spine; and EMG and nerve conduction studies of the legs showed no significant abnormalities except for a predominant cocontraction of the left foot flexors and extensors at 0.6–1.2 Hz in a pattern sometimes seen in painful legs and moving toes. We conclude that there is a condition clinically and electrophysiologically similar to painful legs and moving toes that we call painless legs and moving toes, the etiology of which remains undetermined.

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