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C-6-7....My left wrist, hand and fingers have suddenily gone limp

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  • C-6-7....My left wrist, hand and fingers have suddenily gone limp

    I lean on my left arm a lot since i'm right-handed. That shoulder has bothered me for many years. Got an MRI and cortisone shot about 5 or 6 years ago. They saw Bursitis and some Arthritis in left shoulder.

    I got an MRI of my entire spine 2 or 3 years ago...No Syrinx/cysts.

    It's been 4 weeks now and i'm getting worried. I've been trying to work work my left wrist. I can move it down but not back to make my fingers close to grab things. It's like i am a C-5 on the left side. I'm C-6-7, i can still take care of myself because my arm is strong except for the wrist...it just sorta dangles loosely.

    The only things i can think of i did was....
    I sleep on that side and wake up with my shoulder hurting like crazy sometimes.
    The leaning on the shoulder all the time.
    I did some push-ups in bed. It was soon after i did those that i woke up to a limp wrist.

    Could i have pinched a nerve in my shoulder that would affect my wrist? Or would it be strictly neurological? I'm at a loss and with a loss...of function.

  • #2
    Definitely sounds like you pinched a nerve in your upper arm, probably from the way you sleep. And that would be a "neurological" cause of your wrist problem. Do you have a physiatrist or neurologist you could see who can examine you? They may recommend a NCS/EMG test to see if the nerve is injured.

    Often an injured nerve will improve with time.... but it can take weeks/months, but sometimes its quicker. See a doctor to make sure this is what is going on. An OT may also be helpful to see if any splinting could help in the meantime and to help you figure out how to keep from injuring it more.

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    • #3
      That makes me feel a little better hlh. At least i think i may heal. I do have an appointment with my neurologist the 1st of next month.

      Like i said...I've been working with my wrist and i can lift it a little bit but the fingers are still totally limp. When i lift my right wrist the thumb and forefinger go together. The left hand used to do that but now my thumb just folds under my fingers, like it's dead.

      Well, hopefully the neurologist will find out something. Any more ideas are very much welcome. I had some splints they give me at the Shepherds Center to wear at night but threw them out cause i never needed em and they were just taking up space. i kept them for 11 years...WOULDN'T YA KNOW, hahahaha.
      Last edited by rollin64; 05-07-2015, 07:55 PM. Reason: anal about spelling

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      • #4
        Maybe try nmes to fire to a few times on a low setting.

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        • #5
          overuse of that arm/hand/wrist is what you have described and agree you may have pinched a nerve. Give that side of your body a rest until your appointment. Any pain?

          pbr
          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
            overuse of that arm/hand/wrist is what you have described and agree you may have pinched a nerve. Give that side of your body a rest until your appointment. Any pain?

            pbr
            Yes pbr. My shoulder aches pretty bad sometime. I've been sleeping on my right side a lot but accidentally fell asleep on it the other night. I woke up with the worst pain. The next day i would press on the side of my shoulder and the muscle felt bruised like someone had punched me in it.
            Also noticing my whole left hand feels numb. Shoulder and elbow work okay, wrist is very weak, fingers are gone.

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            • #7
              Wishing i had a TENS or something right about now. That thought has crossed my mind. Maybe neurologist will write me a script.

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              • #8
                Finally results on this. Don't really sound right to me though. I still feel like it's shoulder related. I've always felt like i was my best Dr. lol.

                Had an mri of c-spine. No syrnix.

                Just had Nerve conduction and EMG test. His perspective is it's my left elbow causing my thumb and finger weakness (from leaning on it). Arthritis in shoulder.

                He suggested a brace and some sort of surgery on elbow to fix fingers. Any ideas what he's talking about? Is that where tendon transfer comes in?

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                • #9
                  I don't believe, from your history he is talking about tendon transfer surgery. He is probably looking to relieve the pressure on the nerves as they come down the arm.

                  i would recommend that you put together a list of questions and ask all of them. Continue to ask until you feel comfortable with his recommendations.

                  Ckf
                  The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                    I don't believe, from your history he is talking about tendon transfer surgery. He is probably looking to relieve the pressure on the nerves as they come down the arm.

                    i would recommend that you put together a list of questions and ask all of them. Continue to ask until you feel comfortable with his recommendations.

                    Ckf
                    Thanks Ckf. I don't see him again until Sept. but he's supposed to make me an appointment to speak with a surgeon. I'll definitely ask him plenty questions.

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                    • #11
                      If you need help putting together the list, just revisit us.
                      ckf
                      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                      • #12
                        Oh yeah...he said it would be an outpatient surgery, if that sheds any light.

                        I'll definitely get back with you all for my list of questions. If they gimme enough time that is.

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                        • #13
                          Nerve compression syndrome or compression neuropathy, also known as entrapment neuropathy, is a medical condition caused by direct pressure on a single nerve. It is known colloquially as a trapped nerve, though this may also refer to nerve root compression.
                          In the elbow it is most likely the Ulnar nerve. Surgeon will go in and clean around that area so there is no compression on the nerve.
                          CWO
                          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                          • #14
                            The Ulnar nerve compression sounds exactly like what's going on with my thumb and first two fingers. Plus my wrist moves like it should again but it's way weaker than before.

                            Are there any other alternatives besides surgery? What is the recovery time on something like this? I'm totally independent most of the time. Not by choice really, i just don't have much support.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rollin64 View Post
                              Are there any other alternatives besides surgery?
                              I have ulnar nerve compression affecting my right hand and elbow, and the hand specialist told me that surgery should be the last resort because it has the potential to further damage the nerve. The alternative is basically not to bend your elbow beyond 35 degrees for long periods of time, and to keep the arm straight (not folded up under your head) at night. He had me wear a hard splint around my elbow for sleeping, to train me to keep the arm straight. You don't need a custom splint, though, you can also fold a thick towel lengthwise, wrap it snugly around around your elbow, and secure it with a couple of rubber bands. It serves to remind you not to stretch the ulnar nerve beyond what's necessary.
                              MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

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