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Left Index Finger Numbness & Tingling... could it be coming from my...
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Left Index Finger Numbness & Tingling... could it be coming from my neck/shoulder?

Am 46 years, female.. Had a foraminotomy & fusion, C5-C7, within 6 weeks of each other a little over a year ago... which did nothing to take away the pain/numbness in my left index finger. Also have left shoulder bursitis & arthritis & tendonitis in left forearm. An injury was diagnosed over 3 years ago as "overuse". Have been to many PT sessions, 4 EMGs now, 1 cortizone injection in my shoulder 3 months ago that is wearing off, 3 injections in my neck, 2 MRIs, numerous x-rays, a CT Scan, 2 neck bone scans, you name it. They finally did a MRI on my shoulder in  December 2009 since I could not much sleep at night the pain was so bad and the ortho surgeon said I have a slap tear in my shoulder with other things. I think there is an impingement in my shoulder somewhere that might be causing the numbness problem... no one has gotten to the bottom of it and I am not willing to give up. Any ideas/advice?! It would be much appreciated. I am soo tired of living in chronic pain and giving literally several thousands of money away to the docs and hospitals with no definite answers. Thanks!
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1093617_tn?1279305602
Thank you for your question. Although without being able to examine you I can not offer you the specific advice on diagnosis and treatment that you need, but I would try to provide you some relevant information about your health concern.

Most likely possibility is  pinched nerve in cervical spine in which pain may be referred and perceived as occurring in the back of head, shoulders, arms or chest, rather than just the neck. Other symptoms may include vertigo, nausea (dizziness). However, if you suffer from symptoms, please arrange an appointment with a neurologist right away who will evaluate the further underlying disorders by clinically examine you & ordering MRI or CT scan here that may be the main reasons of your headache attacks & other symptoms and can provide you an appropriate treatment. Hope this information proves helpful to you. Take Care & Regards!!!

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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks, please note that I don't have headaches or dizziness (but did have an inner ear infection when I was 27 years old), so that's not the problem. Can a MRI or CT scan show a pinched nerve in my cervical spine and its precise location? Perhaps it (or something else) hasn't been discovered yet... my neurologist is on leave for another 6 weeks and have not seen him post-op. I just had an EMG for the fourth time ordered by my neurosurgeon, this was the first time post-op, so we will see what the report shows very soon. Perhaps it's carpal tunnel in my left hand with some arthritis, although there are other pain things going on also between my shoulder and hand. I am now looking at yoga and other forms of chronic pain therapies. Really don't think they have found everything yet and am going to be persistent about it.

Can a doc to go a certain area and pinpoint a pinched nerve or is that difficult to diagnose? What is the best course of treatment for a pinched nerve?  I have been diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis too - if that helps. Thank you!!
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1093617_tn?1279305602
Thank you for your question. It is essential that a neurologist needs to be immediately consulted who would like to conduct electromyography (EMG test), nerve conduction studies and MRI to find out the extent and cause. Hope this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
3/20/10
Following up, my EMG studies are now complete. "The findings are consistent with chronic changes persisting following a left C5 cervical radiculopathy." (hence, my numb left index finger) "Abnormal study."

At least someone has told me something definite. Now what? Any suggestions?! My neurosurgeon is on vacation until 4/1/10. Thanks.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi everyone, I Jumped out of a big rig truck and when i hit the ground i felt a sharp pain in my neck, (been driving truck for 25 years) since this time I've had Ring and middle finger numbness (left arm\hand) and outside of forearm with burning pains shooting into my left tricep from the shoulder area. Bouts of dizziness also. Have only had xray done of neck, only showed some spurs around c-5 c-6 c-7? (don't know what all that means) Going to get an EMG next week. After 4 weeks of P.T. the neck pain isn't really bad just feels like a gnawing? I don't know how to describe it. It's not like I'm in alot of pain but sleeping in not easy and during the time I'm awake the numbness\burning in left arm is no fun. Dizziness comes and goes but I do have more dizziness when the neck is hurting. Any ideas? I'm at a loss. No MRI has been mentioned by the workers comp. Dr. What will an EMG do for me? Thank you in advance for any info.
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Avatar_f_tn
The EMG studies will check your nerves and such, you can also find out just about anything by typing it in and searching online for it~  it is a rather painful test, so you might want to bring some sort of music to listen to to distract you, I brought along a squeezy ball for my right hand, which helped ease the pain  while my left arm/hand was tested.

Sorry to hear you fell out of the truck~ sounds like they have just begun for your recovery process, there is no easy fix, mine started over 3 years ago. You may ultimately need surgery but you also need to know the risks and after-effects and any limitations that may result. Further surgeries can also happen. It all gets very expensive. Stand up for yourself and tell the docs how you feel. MRIs, bone scans, and CT scans (imaging tests) can show the docs what they need to know so they can treat ya. I have a good neurosurgeon, you will probably be visiting one also.

Wish you all the best~
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi
Reading your symptoms it could have been mine! I am 43, male and run marathons / half marathons. I also have numbness/tingling in my left index finger. My elbow is sore as well from some hard gardening work 2 weeks ago. I thought this might be carpal tunnel syndrome, but using a gel mouse pad (I work with computers) has not helped. My forearm muscles have also been jumping a bit, but interestingly 2 years ago I suffered a pinched nerve in my neck (severe neck spasm) which resulted in incredible pain down my left arm for 2 or 3 months. The pain was worst at night and would sometimes wake me. Eventually the pain seemed to steadily "move" down my arm and "out" of my fingers. However, I have been suffering repeated neck spasms which surely must have a spinal origin, possible the same as your C5 cervical radiculopathy, but I think mine is more from C7, which is consistent with muscle pain and tenderness I have suffered for years in that area. Xrays showed nothing abnormal. I guess the age is finally catching up.....
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