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Compressed ulnar nerve
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Compressed ulnar nerve

For over a yr I would wake on occasion with pain and numbness in had. Had nerve conduction study/emg came out normal but Dr said there was a problem with elbow but not operable at that time.

In August 07 I hit my arm on the funny bone. The next day pinky and ring finger were numb along with hand and up arm to couple inches above wrist. Had mri and nerve conduction study and dr said ulnar nerve was compressed and needed surgery this was all in September.  At this time I only had numbness and loss of strength mainly in pinky.

Found a surgeon and was scheduled to see him and get surgery in October. The neurologist's office called surgeon made appointment and sent records. Had insurance raised cane because he was not a part of their network and no referral as neurologist then told them they only made appointment because i asked them to

On a Monday while trying to get things straightened out with insurance went to the neurologist for copies of my records to take to gp and send to insurance. they acted put out but did give me the records for a cost of $25.

After leaving I checked to see if findings had been put on ncs as when he had sent previous copies to gp it was just the graph with numbers and no findings or definitions of th results. found the printouts from nerve conductions in 06 on arm July 07 on legs (checking for diabetic neuropathy) nor the august and september studies.

Went back and asked if they could give me that. Staff said it had been dictated by dr but not yet transcribed and they could not do it then. Asked to speak to dr when it was finally agreed I could I went back there and he started shouting at me accusing me of trying to scam insurance etc. he then took the papers to put his findings on. the print outs.

I looked at them after leavig and the numbers had been changed on the motor side to side compariso table specificaly on line a elbow dis mm was 70 unaltered, lat on (ms) had been changed from 13.10 to 10.10, cv (m/s) had been altered from 11.2 to 67.5 m/sec

he then wrote out the following

Normal R-ulnar + R-median nerve conductions-No delay was seen in the ulnar nerve overr the ulnar grove. The patient refused EMG- needle exam for D
I have probably had close to or over a dozen ncs/emg s over the past several yrs and never once have I refused to have the needle part or refused to cooperate in any medical test.

After this happened I went to gp and pushed for new study from a location that does only diagnostic testing but could get me in for nerve conduction study that week  Friday of same week. compared to the guy at hospital where gp practices who could not get me in for over a month.

Got results in and impression (long so only giving what  I think are important parts)

on nc study there are low amplitudes in motor and sensory components of the ulnar nerve arguing for the presence of axon loss within the ulnar nerve. not clear if also demyelenation across the elbow as the lowering of amplitudes precludes precice velocity measurements

On needle exam evidence active denervation on first di and adm muscles. ie ulnar  innervated muscles again indicating axon loss no abnormalities on any other sampled muscle.

This test was done on Oct. 18. Since then I have kept trying to get gp to give me needed referral to neurosurgeon but he refuses insisting I see a new neurologist first. the neurologist he wants me to see has no openings till January.

It is now the end of November and hand has deteriorated to extent that their is visual muscle loss on side of hand between pinky and wrist and in the area between index finger and thumb. I have also lost strength to extent that simple things like fastening bra lighting candles etc are extremely difficult. pinky also gets muscle spasms that cause it to go either strange positions or curl up and now ring finger is starting to do same

I am worried about permanent damage to my hand especially as it is my dominant hand and I am an artist so work with my hands all the time. I am also lost about what to do as insurance and every neurosurgeon i have ever heard of require referrals before can go see one.

Is my worry reasonable? If so what do I do?

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2 Comments Post a Comment
I feel sad that all this is happening to you.
How are you feeling now?
Your muscle atrophy is due ulnar nerve degeneration.
You should get a Nerve conduction velocity.
If the reports are confirmatory, then you can go in for nerve stimulation therapy.
Alternatively you can consult a physiotherapist and start exercising those muscle to avoid them from going into disuse atrophy.
It is important to keep good general nutritional status.
Hope this helps you.
Ulnar nerve compression usually do occur at the region of elbow where it travels in a narrow tunnel. Ulnar nerve supplies the ring and little finger. This requires a surgical procedure to decompress or release the compression of the nerve. Following this you would improve.
Do consult a Plastic surgeon/Hand Surgeon
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