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My Dad lives in assisted living and has pain in his hip and leg joints that is being treated with anti inflammatory and OTC pain relievers. His legs and feet are beginning to pull and turn outward, he says like they have "rubberbands", and won't turn back inward to a more natural state. This causes an uncomfortable tightness and impedes his walking and moving which is of course already extremely difficult. Occasional chiropractic treatments help a little but only for a day or two. I know from Parkinson's Disease literature that stiffness, muscle spasms, and freezing are common symptoms, all of which my father experiences regularly. I do not see however the "locking up of joints", and pain associated with that, and the physical, and perhaps permanent, turning out of legs and feet. His feet are actually beginning to regularly point in opposite directions when he is sitting and they only point forward if I push them into place. He can't do it himself. He feels like the problem starts in his hips being "locked up" and feels the need for them to be "popped" back into place. He thinks if his hips were popped back into place everything else would line up again. I'm not sure what to make of this. He has had x-rays done on these joints and only arthritis was found.


I want to help my Dad as he feel certain he needs to see a "specialist somewhere in the United States" and persistently requests I help him find one. However his mobility and other PD health problems are such that it would be nearly impossible to travel. I feel this is joint lock and turning out of legs and feet are probably more of the cruel symptoms of PD and are probably part of the process of entering the last phase of becoming wheelchair bound. I definitely want to help him if help is available, however I don't want to waste money and my physical and emotional energy pursuing a fix to this problem if no solutions, other than the typical PD regimen of medications and physical therapy, are available.


Does anyone else have experience with these particular type of joint issues with PD and if so what do I do to help my Dad?

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Even though a specialist can't cure PD they can try to reduce the severity of symptoms and relieve the associated pain - what kind of doctor has been treating him in the past, has he never seen a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders like PD?
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I guess I didn't really state that in my question. Yes, my dad has seen a neurologist for years and at his last appointment she told him there was not really more she could do for his parkinsons symptoms with medication. He is pretty well maxed out on the different parkinson's meds, taking the carbadopa/levodopa 6 times a day at high strength. He also is taking several others to help boost the dopamine. He sees his family doctor regularly, and he has had both the Parkinsons voice therapy and physical therapy. No one has been able to help him with his joints locking up and I'm afraid therein is the answer. There is no help. He doesn't believe that though.
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I'm sorry. His condition sounds painful - is he being offered adequate pain meds?
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I wonder if a little bird has been tweeting "deep brain stimulation" into his ear...

Has he always taken an active interest in his own treatment and management? If so, it's quite possible that he has come across this interesting area of research.

Are you in the US? - it's just that you say your father thinks he needs to see a specialist "somewhere in the United States" and I'm not sure if that implies having to travel from elsewhere.

You can read a bare-bones explanation of DBS at www.parkinsons.org.uk.; or there is the Parkinson's Foundation, based in Florida, at www.parkinson.org, which I expect will also have information about it.
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I really have any advice. I just feel bad for you and your dad. I can't even imagine the pain your dad is going through. I don't think you should give up, but I also understand about not wanting to waste value time, energy, money for treatment that may not be there or may not work. Prehaps CM is on to something you could look into, or just look up "joint lock" maybe there is something your missing, or not.

May God guide you and help you find the answers you seek in Jesus' name. Amen

I wish you the best of luck.
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Next time you take him to the neurologist have Dad ask him/her about a specialist. Have the neurologist sit down in front of him eye to eye and explain that what he is experiencing is the normal progression of PD. That there is not much that can be done at this stage. Or maybe you will find there is more. Write a note to the Dr. ahead of time telling him/her what dad has been asking and if there are options, can he/she suggest them. It will give the dr. a heads up.

Everyone needs a little hope. Your Dad is losing his independence and doesn't like it. He is grasping at straws.
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