I had a re-do surgery of the ulnar nerve (at the elbow) two years ago (the original surgery was 20 years prior), and am having symptoms/problems once again.
Is two years adequate for scar tissue development and thus entrapment again? What would you suspect and look for as the cause of the new problems (I'm scheduled to have an EMG soon)?
Where can the nerve be positioned in the original and re-do surgeries and what is the possiblity of these new problems and why? (I believe in the re-do, they simply released the nerve from scar tissue and did not reposition it.)
First of all, keep in mind that I am unable to diagnose you because I am unable to examine you, this forum is for educational purposes. I do not know the details or your original surgery, but I will address your problems in general. The ulnar nerve can be entraped at multiple levels including: exiting the spinal cord, under the collar bone, at the elbow (in the cubital tunnel) and in the wrist. Symptoms generally include burning and/or sharp pain in the hand/arm- mostly in the pinky and ring finger, and weakness/atrophy in the muscles that allow your hand to grip. Compression at the elbow (cubital tunnel) is most common. When the syndrome is severe enough to warrant surgery there are several approaches. In one surgery the roof of the cubital tunnel is removed, this is generally done when the compression is fairly mild. Other surgeries involve moving the nerve out of the cubital tunnel and placing in front of the elbow (anterior tansposition), under the skin and on top of muscle (subcutaneous transposition), within the muscle (intermuscular transposition) or under the muscle (submuscular transposition). Scar tissue can definitely return in 2 years, and you may ask your doctor about a more definitive transpostion surgery if the nerve is again showing signs of compression on EMG. MRI is also being used now to evaluate for ulnar nerve compression and this may be a tool that your neurologist could use if needed. I hope this has been helpful.
I just got diagnosed with "substantial central disc herniation at C5-C6" and I've been getting diagnosed with ulnar neuropathy for nearly two years. Until I got my MRI, I thought I was going to have to have the surgery that you had. This may be why your surgery is not working correctly. Just a thought.
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