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Ulnar nerve damage from wrist surgery??
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Ulnar nerve damage from wrist surgery??

Hello,

I am 8 days post op from arthroscopic wrist surgery by an excellent hand surgeon to repair a TFCC tear to my fibrocartilage (I think it's a type 1B, peripheral tear).  I did it when I hit a "fat" golf shot.  Since the surgery I have had sensory numbness to the top and outside of my pinkie finger.  This continues past the outside edge of my finger up my hand to at least as far as I can reach up my splint and bandage.  A portion of the top of my hand is also involved from about the the beginning of the wrist side of the ring finger knuckle straight up the bandage, again to at least as far as I can reach with the splint/bandage on.  (I'm not supposed to take the splint/bandage off until I see the nurse practicioner on Wed 3/5 when she removes the stitches and puts me in a hard cast which will not go past my elbow).  Even though it's numb I also sometimes get a burning sensation when I touch it with even a very slight touch.  I called my Dr on day 4 (waited because I thought it might go away) and with additional calls on days 6 and 7, his office finally called back and told me it was normal at this point in my recovery.  I know he had to work very close to my ulnar nerve but he never said nerve damage was a risk of the surgery.  Do you think this could be a sign of permanent nerve damage or do you think it's probably just temporary?   I should also let you know that I opted for regional anesthesia (from my shoulder down) but since it didn't have time to take full effect by the time the surgery had to begin, the anesthesiologist had to proceed to plan B in the operating room and give me general anesthesia.  My arm was totally numb when I woke up and remained so for about 7 hours.  At least I didn't have any pain during that time.  Do you think my problem could also be caused from the regional anesthesia?  Usually temporary or could that also cause permanent nerve damage?  I'm really worried because it's not showing any signs of improvement.  Thank you so much for any info or experiences you can provide/share.
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144586_tn?1284669764
You ask a good question to which I have no answer. To avoid nerve damage surgeons depend upon "landmarks". Regional anaesthesia allegedly dimnishes landmarks and makes it more difficult to avoid nerves. That being said, sometimes even the best surgeon causes inadvertant damage. It's very difficult to say whether the damage will be permanent. I do believe a nurse practicioner is working above her pay-grade to perform an evaluation at this point. You have a complication that requires the attention of an M.D. I respect nurse practicioners, and many are better than many doctors, but there is an ego thing involved. I think you need to keep on top of this. At this point, so soon after the slicing and dicing it's a matter of watchful waiting.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for responding.  You've made me realize that I need to call his office tomorrow AM and tell them I feel that I need to see the Dr to have this numbness/burning evaluated before they put the full cast on, which is scheduled for this Wed.  Sometimes it's even a pulsating burn now.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi again...I just called my Dr's office.  My Dr is in CA at a conference all week.  The secretary said I have to get the stitches out this week and a cast. I have to see the nurse practioner.  It's burns so much that I told the secretary that I didn't know if I could tolerate wearing a cast.  She said the n.p. can evaluate that when I come in.  The secretary said she had the same surgery with numbness and burning, and still gets burning once in a while so not to worry...it's normal.  Will write again after I see her on Wed to let you know how the appt goes.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I also had the same surgery, it has been a little over 4 months since my surgery.  After my surgert, about a week or so I started to experience horrible pain and had to go to the emergencey room... I have had numbness since my cast was taken off and still cannot feel my pinky finger nor the entire top of my hand.  I have seen 3 doctors since my surgery and today I find out that I have a serverly damaged nerve from the surgery a syndorme that I regret not to remember the name of... but there is no immediate cure for this or the nerve damage, it may or may not regenerate over time.

I hope all goes well with your recovery.. mine has been a very rocky rocky road!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I had abdominal surgery in early February of 08 about a week after surgery, I had no feeling in my pinky finger and half of my ring finger,
I saw my neurogurgeon who sent me for an EMG only to find out I had
severe ulnar nerve damage.  My neurosurgeon said, it was from getting
old (I'm 53), I think it happened from the surgery, but he said NO.  I did not have any trauma to my elbow.  I would like to know if anyone who has severe ulnar nerve damage, did
you experience any symptoms prior to being diagnosed.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am 8 weeks out of surgery for a TFCC reapir to my right wrist.  The first 4 weeks after surgery was unbearable nerve pain, numbness, and burning.  They started me on B6 100mg twice a day on my 2 week check up which has helped.  I got my cast off 2 weeks ago and still have numbness and pain to the outer aspect of my hand and pinky.  The doctor told me there was excessive swelling putting pressure on the nerve.  Therapy, ice, and the B6 should help with this.  I have not noticed a difference since the cast came off in the intensity of pain and numbness.  I am quite worried at this point but have to just give it time.  I tried to put a bracelet on the other day to cover up how deformed my arm looks from muscle atrophy, but could not tolerate the bracelet touching my skin.  It *****... Good luck to you!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I had the same surgery 3 weeks ago. I'm in a hard cast that partially covers my elbow. It feels like bees have been unleashed on the top of my hand. Very painful. Is this what you experienced?
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Avatar_f_tn
I had surgery on May 23 and I have now been out of my cast for about 2 weeks but I still have the burning pain in my wrist and arm, it gets really bad when I get cold. I still have numbness from my wrist all the way to my arm pits. I had a TFCC repair done on my wrist. What did your doctors say about the recovery time? I'm just curious to know what happened with you all. I have an appointment to see a neurologist on Thursday to find out what is wrong.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm experiencing Ulna nerve damage in wrist and elbow and radial nerve damage in back of arm and across top and shoulder bone spurs and several neck problems, I have been a hair stylist for 26 years. I am having ulna nerve problems in the other hand now out of the blue. I'm not sure if the ulna nerve can be damaged in your hand from your type of surgery. I hope it's temporary and goes away soon. Could it be your pain medication your taking or was taking?  Just a thought.
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Avatar_f_tn
I forgot to add I've been having these problems for about 6 years but the last 2 years have been so painful. They won't give me surgery because all my nerves are hot and the dr said they would make it worse for me  to have surgery right now. After hearing all your stores about complications after surgery I appreciate them waiting. Good luck to you all.
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