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This forum is for questions and support regarding neurology issues such as: Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, Autism, Brain Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Pain, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, MS, Neuralgia, Neuropathy, Parkinson's Disease, RSD, Sleep Disorders, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury.

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My husband had surgery on a disk in his back 11 days ago in the L1-L2 area.  Prior to the surgery, he layed on his stomach for almost 2 weeks due to the pain.  He would bunch a pillow up to his chest and prop up on his elbows for comfort.  At the time of the surgery for his back he noticed he had numbness in his hands.  He still had numbness in his hands until a week after the surgery.  He now has aching pain and burning pain from his elbows to his hands especially at night.  This is keeping him awake most of the night.  Could this be a temporary condition due to his resting on his elbows or should we seek care for this as a new condition?  In either case is there any home physical therapy that can help?
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Dear Debbie:

Sorry that your husband is having difficulties.  I would agree that the most likely etiology of your husband's sensory changes is the positioning on his elbows.  He might have put too much pressure on the ulnar nerve that travels near the elbow.  However, one never knows what might be going on and the positioning is just a red herring.  I would see a neurologist and have him/her evaluate the sensory changes.  Likely it is the positioning but a good evaluation will ease your minds and also a better prognostication can be given.  A medication such as neurontin might help with the paresthesias.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
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