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Good hand 3 years post his stroke is getting very weak.

Question: My father is having a hard time pulling himself up out of his wheelchair. His good hand keeps getting weaker. A number of his doctors say they don't know what causes it. The O.T. can measure how much strength he is losing. What could be causing his loss of strength in this hand?. He won't be able to continue staying at home if it gets much worse. Thank you.

Answer: I would take documentation from the OT regarding hand strength and sensation to a neurologist. If it's just a minor change, this is not unusual over time as we age (you can see a chart of hand strength for various ages to see where he falls or ask the OT to show you the chart). If there is a significant change in strength, I would take the results to a neurologist and see if they will do testing such as a nerve conduction study to check for neuropathy or other problems with nerves. I would ask the OT to check for sensation issues with Semmes Weinstein (or similar) monofilaments. If your father has any numbness/tingling or sensation deficits plus weakness, that would be a sign of problems with nerves which is not uncommon. Sensation testing is more accurate if you use monofilaments. You can't just go by report of I can feel with my fingers or trying to touch the hand with your own hand to see if he can feel it. He would need sensation testing on a finer level such as with the monofilaments to detect subtle changes.

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