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View Full Version : L Hand, tingle in pinky and ring finger


stickey
05-09-2009, 18:00
Any advice or prior experience for my issue would be greatly appreciated. I want to avoid going to doc/sick call, so i am hoping to find an alternate solution.

I am assuming there is a pinched nerve somewhere between my left wrist and neck. My left pinky and left ring finger will suddenly tingle, then go numb....like their going to sleep. I pinch them and there's no pain regardless of how hard i pinch. They do not loose color so Im not thinking it's necessarily a circulatory issue. Other than not being to grip some weights when working out with alot of strength in the hand, driving, or using the computer, there is no pain or major discomfort....just annoying more than anything.

If it is a pinched nerve, i have gathered from "google" that they often times just go away. Any ideas?

Thanks, Stickey.

Red Flag 1
05-09-2009, 19:55
Any advice or prior experience for my issue would be greatly appreciated. I want to avoid going to doc/sick call, so i am hoping to find an alternate solution.

I am assuming there is a pinched nerve somewhere between my left wrist and neck. My left pinky and left ring finger will suddenly tingle, then go numb....like their going to sleep. I pinch them and there's no pain regardless of how hard i pinch. They do not loose color so Im not thinking it's necessarily a circulatory issue. Other than not being to grip some weights when working out with alot of strength in the hand, driving, or using the computer, there is no pain or major discomfort....just annoying more than anything.

If it is a pinched nerve, i have gathered from "google" that they often times just go away. Any ideas?

Thanks, Stickey.

What you are describing suggests ulnar nerve involvement. Without a physical exam, it is hard to rule in, or rule out any vascular issues.

Among the questions your doc will likely ask is, "what event do you think caused this"?

IMHO, you really need to see a doc to get a diagnosis and treatment. I would suggest that an Orthopedic consult would be a good place to start.

RF 1

doctom54
05-09-2009, 20:00
Any advice or prior experience for my issue would be greatly appreciated. I want to avoid going to doc/sick call, so i am hoping to find an alternate solution.

I am assuming there is a pinched nerve somewhere between my left wrist and neck. My left pinky and left ring finger will suddenly tingle, then go numb....like their going to sleep. I pinch them and there's no pain regardless of how hard i pinch. They do not loose color so Im not thinking it's necessarily a circulatory issue. Other than not being to grip some weights when working out with alot of strength in the hand, driving, or using the computer, there is no pain or major discomfort....just annoying more than anything.

If it is a pinched nerve, i have gathered from "google" that they often times just go away. Any ideas?

Thanks, Stickey.

This sounds like a ulnar neuropathy. The ulnar nerve supplies sensation to the 4th and 5th finger (generally, there can be some anatomic variation).
The most common spot for the problem is at the elbow (ulnar groove on the back of the inside edge, AKA "funny bone")
The second is at the wrist, Guyon's Canal.
Here is a good article
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1141515-overview
PM if you have other questions.

Tom

Buffalobob
05-10-2009, 06:06
When I was training for marathons and running 5-8 miles per day and 15-20 miles on Sunday nights, I wore one of those huge black armored watches with all the functions on it. The watch was somewhat loose on my wrist and made a gentle tapping on on the wrist right where the nerve is. After four or five years of this, there was a slow progressive loss of feeling in those two fingers. Magically, the feeling came back after a few weeks of time when I quit wearing a watch while running. :lifter

stickey
05-10-2009, 06:56
Thanks to everyone and the article was quite interesting and helpful, especially the diagram. I guess I will go sick call sometime this week. I hate going, not for the stigma, but the entire process....half day wasted. I will post an update and hopefully contribute to helping someone else out with a similar issue.


PS: I thought i posted and should have in "General Medical" forum, sorry for posting here if should have been in GM.

alright4u
05-10-2009, 07:20
Jesus: You thinking bout sick call for that? WTFO.

The Reaper
05-10-2009, 08:01
Thanks to everyone and the article was quite interesting and helpful, especially the diagram. I guess I will go sick call sometime this week. I hate going, not for the stigma, but the entire process....half day wasted. I will post an update and hopefully contribute to helping someone else out with a similar issue.

Go to sick call, get it fixed, and get it documented.

Gutting it out or ignoring it will cost you in the long run.

I learned that lesson myself, the hard way.

TR

Ambush Master
05-10-2009, 08:12
I had the same problem, but in both hands. It happened while working under my vehicle by me striking wrenches with the palm of my hand rather than getting out from under and going for a hammer. The doc had me purchase 2 eggs of Silly Putty, combine them and squeeze it like you would a ball. The advantage of the SP over a ball is that it allows for a longer range of motion. This helps to strengthen the muscles and structures of your hand, wrist and forearm, but doing so GENTLY while the nerve mends. Also he had me buy a Left and Right Wrist Brace. Wear the Brace at night when you sleep. It is common to fold your wrist over 90 deg in your sleep and this doesn't help the healing process at all.

You do need to consult with a Doc though to be certain that there aren't other issues.

Take care.
Martin

Odd Job
05-30-2009, 11:43
I had this same problem in the early nineties. The symptoms were a burning and tingling sensation in the little and ring finger, followed by numbness.
This ulnar paraesthesia came on without any history of trauma. There wasn't anything that I could think of that could have caused it.

I saw an upper limb surgeon and he told me that this was likely an impingement at the elbow, affecting the ulnar nerve. He said if this was the case, he could operate and release the nerve to bring it round to the front of the elbow. I wasn't too keen on that and wanted confirmation of the problem.
He sent me for elbow and ulnar groove and carpal tunnel X-rays and a set of cervical spine X-rays also.
Nothing significant was found on that imaging, so I was referred to a neurologist for an EMG. This is a nerve conduction study. I don't know if they still do those or if MRI is now the tool of choice, but I can tell you that it was a very uncomfortable study. I was given an electrode to hold in my left hand while the doc stuck a needle into various places in my forearm and neck. Attached to the needle was a wire through which a current was passed by means of a foot pedal. He basically delivers electric shocks near the nerve, and times the conduction velocity to the electrode. My arm was jumping involuntarily with each hit, and at one point I had a needle between my cervical spinous processes....not a nice sensation when the juice is turned on, I can tell you.

Well...conduction at the elbow was fine, this was not an ulnar groove problem, but he could not exclude a problem higher up. He recommended a CT scan of the neck, which turned out to be normal.

Next stop was physio to loosen up my neck: the theory at that point was that I had muscle tension and general stiffness of the neck made worse by wearing lead aprons as part of my job. I didn't notice an obvious improvement from physio: I suspect that it was good for me and helped me with a generic problem with my neck, but not THE problem with the tingling fingers.

In the end nothing was found, and I endured this problem for almost two years. It didn't compromise my work, the effect was more sensory than motor, although the physical assessment of L v R power indicated I had lost some on the left. I have my doubts about the significance of that, since I am right handed. In the end the problem went away by itself.

Anyway, have it investigated as thoroughly as you can...and if they still do EMGs then ask if you can have a few stiff whiskeys before you go in ;)

Sacamuelas
05-31-2009, 10:19
I agree with all the previous posts. The most likely etiology of your symptoms is some sort of impingement or inflammation associated with the ulnar nerve.

The trauma that causes this is often not in the catagory of major/life changing accidents. Chronic trauma can occur from simple daily actions that most on this site experience quite often. When your tired, some people will rest their heads onto their wrists and support the weight with their elbows on a table. Another instance that isn't as avoidable, when lying prone and using the elbows as a bi pod to support the weight of your head and binoculars when glassing an area for a long time period. Both of these type actions can aggravate an ulnar nerve inflammation by causing direct trauma.

As discussed above, the ulnar nerve symptoms you describe can also be caused by a very similar situation to what most know as carpel tunnel syndrome. Of course, carpel tunnel is associated with a different nerve and anatomical area, but the overall understanding of what is happening is the same.

Follow The Reaper's advice, go get checked and avoid unnecessary trauma to your elbows in the future when that is avoidable. Especially the bad habit of resting your head on your hands when tired.

Good luck

stickey
07-17-2009, 23:15
Sorry it took so long to respond. Saw a Phys Ther friend and he rubbed my arm and we figured out what it was. After the initial post, i took a break from any PT that make me flex anything connected to my elbow (push ups and weights). It went away. Felt better. Then i went surfing again and it flared up. Apparently when i pop myself up my technique has failed (as i get older im losing my agility and finesse) and I'm placing my hands either too high or to low on my board, when they should be about at the arm pit. Cause identified, corrective action taken, haven't had any more discomfort or loss of feeling at all. He said it was more than likley the ulnar nerve, did the rest thing with some ibuprofen.

Thanks for everyone's comments.

Kingfisher
07-18-2009, 18:40
extended periods of lying prone pulling security will cause this too.:D

BigJimCalhoun
07-18-2009, 21:14
I often wake up during the night due to the discomfort numb fingers, mostly the 4th finger, but the 3rd and 5th too. I suspect it may be related to some medication I am on, but this thread provides me more information to research.