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Ulnar Nerve Entrapment


Pete e2
13 18.5k 96 England
17 Jun 2011 10:28AM
Following an electrical test on nerves in my arm I have been diagnosed with a damaged Ulnar Nerve.
At the same time as being told this I was offered an operation to fix it. I signed a consent form and now await the appointment. I was asked if I had any questions but at that point it was a bit of an unknown unknown. So once home I started looking up about the nerve, and the operation.
It seems from forums that the operation doesn't always fix things (in my case tingling and numbness in the little finger), and sometimes makes things worse in other parts of the arm especially around te elbow where the operation takes place.

Just wondering has anyone else had this operation? Did it work for you? Has anyone left it and did the symptoms worsen?

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MikeRC e2
9 3.5k United Kingdom
17 Jun 2011 10:53AM
.....many years ago I had an electrical testin my arms...strange, not totally unpleasant sensation.

I was diagnosed with Carpel Tunnel Syndrom, very painful lefthand and I was given an injection in my wrist...like magic the pain went away but a few months later the pain was back.
They wouldn't give me another injection and said I could have an operation but there was no guarantee of a cure and was advised not to bother.

....nowadays I have that much pain in so many joints, Osteoarthritis I think, one more, more or less doesn't seem to matter Smile

....I realize that doesn't help but good luck anyway.....Mike
17 Jun 2011 11:08AM
Hi Pete
I'm an NHS governance and safety Manager (and nurse) with a background in consent management and the law surrounding it. There are of course very few 100% safe types of surgery and those involving the nerves almost always have some inherent level of risk though this is often small and should be pout into context (eg a 1:10,000 risk). The point is that your consultant has an obligation to provide you with appropriate information about the options available to sort your problem including the pros and cons of each one. This should include the risks of doing nothing. For example surgery is one option but for other conditions (perhaps not yours but I'm giving examples here), physiotherapy may be an alternative option, manipulation might be another.

Your consent is not valid unless you have been explained the options and the risks associated with all of the options and the clinician is leaving himself open to litigation if you had a poor outcome that wasa well recognised and hadn't been fully explained to you beforehand. For each risk the clinician should be able to provide the level of risk eg one in one thousand or one in a million etc.

This should have been discussed in your outpatient appointment so I would ring his secretary and ask for an appointment to discuss further. He may be able to give you a call over the phone. I would also push for this not to delay your surgery date as this should have been done by default and you shouldnt be penalised for such an oversight.

Of note I had a similar problem last year, I had extensive tests; MRI, CT scan and the nerve conduction studies you had. For me they felt it was damage from pressure due to poor positioning at my work desk (too much time on a PC) and exacerbated from spending too long after work and at weekends with my elbows up on the ledge of a hide. I was advised to avoid leaning on the elbow and it should clear up. It did so after a few months although I can still get problems if I lapse with my posture at a desk.

Hope it goes ok but you can PM me if you have further problems
Pete e2
13 18.5k 96 England
17 Jun 2011 11:37AM
thank you for this advice - very much appreciated.
csurry
12 9.2k 92
17 Jun 2011 11:46AM
Just accept you are getting older and live with it Tongue

Alternatively since it is your little finger try not to be so correct when holding your china tea cup!

I am feeling so helpful this morning Grin
Big Bri 13 15.6k United Kingdom
17 Jun 2011 12:07PM
And if you earn as much as Wayne Rooney, you could get your other problem sorted too.


Wink
Carabosse e2
11 39.5k 269 England
17 Jun 2011 12:10PM
But Pete has to replace his Lamborghini doesn't he - I mean it must be nearly 2 years old now! Smile






tongue-light.jpg

Big Bri 13 15.6k United Kingdom
17 Jun 2011 12:10PM
(Being completely unqualified, I would not dream of offering medical advice, however if it were me I would investigate other options first. I too suffered from severe pain in my wrists and elbows that I have addressed by changing my posture while at the computer. However, for this particular condition that may not be relevant, and your doctor should be able to advise you on ALL the options.
Carabosse e2
11 39.5k 269 England
17 Jun 2011 12:14PM
I suffered a recent, and slightly scary (in the sense it happened so quickly) attack of bursitis... my elbow swelled up. I concluded, after to a bit of research on the web, it was due to posture at the computer. As have been various aches and pains in fingers etc.

Very noticeable how a few days away from a computer can make such a difference - e.g. when on holiday.
mikehit e2
5 6.8k 11 United Kingdom
17 Jun 2011 3:13PM
The problem with operations is that the waiting lists can be so damned long so you may be hesitant to do anythgin that might jeopardise your appointment. But this should not stop you from asking for more information (repeatedly if necessary).

If the waiting list is months you could in the meantime ask for advice on physiotherapy and if that wors then consider cancelling the appointment.
theorderingone 10 2.4k United Kingdom
17 Jun 2011 5:55PM

Quote:I was diagnosed with Carpel Tunnel Syndrom, very painful lefthand and I was given an injection in my wrist...like magic the pain went away but a few months later the pain was back.
They wouldn't give me another injection and said I could have an operation but there was no guarantee of a cure and was advised not to bother.



My dad's had the CTS OP, as the pain was preventing him fro, being able to work properly. It's taken a while to settle down, but the OP seems to have done the trick. He still complains of the odd twinge everry so often, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was, and seems to be getting better as time progresses.

I hope this helps.
Paul Morgan e2
13 15.7k 6 England
17 Jun 2011 6:39PM
A friend who plays lead guitar in a band had something similar, not sure which finger but it was on his playing hand, he made a full recovery.
dandeakin 7 202 3 England
17 Jun 2011 6:47PM
If you want an orthopaedic surgeon's view feel free to PM me. I can't PM you. Dan
17 Jun 2011 6:59PM
I have had operations for Carpal tunnel - one for each hand. This is the Radial nerve entrapment. 30 years later I still get numbness in thumb, first two fingers and one side of the ring finger in both hands.

Imagine my frustration when I developed numbness in the other side of the ring finger and the little finger - Ulnar nerve entrapment. I had nerve conductivity tests. Recommended re-doing th carpal tunnel but said the other nerve was trapped at the elbow and they didn't want to operate as it would involve moving the nerve from the outside to the inside of the elbow joint. This was about 25years ago so techniques will have changed- I hope.

I have just learned to live with it - won't kill me( I assume!). One of the things that limits what camera I use - need light weight plus small size as I have small hands.

How important is it to lose the problem in the little finger?
Paul Morgan e2
13 15.7k 6 England
17 Jun 2011 7:07PM

Quote:How important is it to lose the problem in the little finger?


I have no idea, can`t be that important for me, broke one a couple of years ago and it has been pretty useless ever since.

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