I laid ceramic tile for 3 days straight, after which I developed numbness and tingling of the left index finger and the left side of the left middle finger. It has been 10 days and the numbness/tingling of the index finger has not gone away from the finger tip and the right side of the finger. I also had some wrist pain as a result of the tiling process. Should I consult a doctor or will the numbness dissipate with time?
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.
Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
A cause of numbness of the index finger and middle finger is carpal tunnel syndrome. It usually also has sensory changes of the palm at the thumb, index and middle fingers, and the ring finger on the side near the middle finger. I am not sure if you have these other features or not, but I will elaborate on carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression/entrapment syndrome of the median nerve at the wrist. It usually results from excessive use of hands and occupational “microtrauma”. Other causes include hypothyroidism, amylodosis, and arthritis to name a few. It may also arise during pregnancy and resolve after delivery of the child. The sensory changes usually are worse at night. Patients may complain of having to shake their hand to wake it up. Over time, you may develop atrophy of muscles of the thumb supplied by the median nerve.
I would recommend that you follow up with your local neurologist. He/she will perform a specific neurological examination focused on the median nerve. The neurologist may also elect to perform an EMG/NCS to evaluate the motor and sensory components of the median nerve as it crosses the wrist. I would have this evaluated and not wait.
Treatment options include surgical release of the carpal ligament at the wrist. However, less invasive procedure such as splinting of the wrist, which can be purchased at local drug stores, should be tried first. Medications are usually directed at the underlying cause and include NSAIDs such as ibuprofen.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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