Q: Sleepy leg

Wise Young wisey at pipeline.com
Sun Jan 26 16:37:58 EST 1997


In article <censeb.11.00110060 at natlab.research.philips.com>,
censeb at natlab.research.philips.com (Barry Cense) wrote:

>Hi
>
>1) What exactly causes the 'sleeping leg' effect? This can happen when your 
>leg is in a strange position. It feels not so good. Is it because of a stop 
>of blood supply to the legs or are there some nerves that stop transmitting 
>(or is it something else)?
>
>2) Is it dangerous?
>
>
>Thanks in advance,
>
>Barry Cense

Slowing down blood supply to the leg certainly can contribute to a "sleepy"
leg.  One should not forget, however, that pressure on the sciatic nerve
can produce the similar effect and may be the more common cause.  Most of
the major blood vessels (femoral) to the leg are actually quite well
protected by tissues and difficult to compress for long periods of time in
the sitting position whereas there are several places where the nerve is
close to the surface and susceptible to compression in the sitting
position.  One of the way that you can tell is from the temperature and
color of the limb.  If the limb is cold and blue, vascular involvement is
likely (in fact, it should be checked out).  If the leg is warm and pink,
and particularly if you experience paresthesias (tingling and pain)
associated trying to walk with the leg, the cause is more likely to be due
to nerve compression.

Wise.

Wise



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