View Full Version : Medical Q: Ulnar nerve death?
05-10-2003, 12:31 PM
Do I have a dead ulnar nerve?
About six months ago my ulnar nerve went on the fritz. This is the nerve that services, if you will, the pinky, the inside portion of the ring finger, and the adjacent areas of the hand. It pretty much feels like it's "asleep" with almost no sensation coming through, just a little tingly feeling when I touch it.
I don't think there was trauma that precipitated this. So I've been waiting for the little bastard to wake back up. So far, no good.
I would be willing to wait forever except a week ago I burned my hand while doing some plumbing work. I leaned that side of my hand against a pipe I had just sweated (I think). The thing is I didn't know until I washed my hands a few hours later.
Am I screwed with respect to my UN? Is this the portent of awful things to come?
05-10-2003, 12:36 PM
Is your muscle function intact? Can you move all your digits and wrist, etc without difficulty? Is there any weakness?
05-10-2003, 12:53 PM
Yes, muscle function is fully present. No weakness; no discomfort. Gee, now this makes me wonder about sensory and motor nerve connections. Different pathways?
05-10-2003, 01:23 PM
It is possible to have something called "ulnar tunnel syndrome", which is basically a nerve caught in the ulnar tunnel through which it passes. It's extremely fixable through surgery.
See your doctor for a referral to a neurologist, who can do the appropriate testing and treatment.
Robin, who is being evaluated for this, even as we speak
05-10-2003, 03:28 PM
My dad was struck by lightening as he was unplugging a phone (trying to prevent just that...), and it stunned his nerve for a few weeks. Probably not applicable in any way, but...
Mr. Blue Sky
05-10-2003, 05:00 PM
A couple of years ago, I took a spill and, while trying to catch myself, landed on the ring finger of my left hand. Hurt like a mother for several days. Didn't break anything, but the tip of that finger has a slight bend to it.
Within a few weeks, I started getting a tingling feeling from the finger all the to my left shoulder. I went to a neurologist who tested the nerve and it turned out I had bruised it slightly. Since the damage wasn't severe, there wasn't much that could be done other than to wait for it to heal itself. After about six months, the tingling went away.
Go see your doctor!
05-10-2003, 06:01 PM
Different pathways, different nerves (the Ulnar nerve is a mixed sensory and motor nerve) different roots in the spinal cord.
Have you seen your doc?
Go see one if you havn't, see them again if you have.
You should have a full neuro workup, from your fingers to your head. You may have trapped the nerve high up in the neck, or anywhere along its course in your arm.
Also insist on a general work-up and blood work, especially electrolytes and glucose.
Have you ever had a chest x-ray? Did they notice any bony abnormalities in your neck? You may (I'm talking very small chance) have a cervical rib which is trapping the nerve.
Any neck, elbow or shoulder injuries?
Any circulatory problems?
Any recent viral illness?
Any new medications?
As you've already disovered lack of sensation can lead to injury and poor wound care. Check your hand evey day to make sure you don't have any cuts, bruises or burns that need attention.
05-11-2003, 10:17 AM
Thanks for the input. It sounds like UTS and I know how much docs love patients diagnosing themselves.;)
Off to the doc...
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