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Damaged Ulnar Nerve
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Damaged Ulnar Nerve

Has anyone had surgery to repair damage to the Ulnar Nerve? I had an EMG today because I need Rotator Cuff Surgery (#5 on this arm) and my Orthopedic Surgeon wanted it done to make sure that there was no nerve damage before the surgery so that he did not come in contact with anything make it worse. Anyway, the EMG revealed severe damage to the Ulnar Nerve and the doctor that did the test said the I would need a surgical release of the nerve. Has anyone had this procedure that can give me some details on it ?
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356518_tn?1322267242
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Neurology/Neck-brachial-radial--ulna-nerve-damage---numb-hands/show/294593

I seen there were some members that have had this done at the above post.
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765775_tn?1366028291
Thanks Sandee
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356518_tn?1322267242
Your welcome:)
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765775_tn?1366028291
I just read them all. They are not much help except for the doctor's comments which were similar to what the doctor told me today.

My nerve damage is located at the elbow and this doctor said it is probably related to trauma. I did find it interesting that there was one individual that had rotator cuff surgery and then had this problem. I have had four on this arm so God knows what happened in there.

I guess I will have to wait until the 18th and see what the surgeon tells me.
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535089_tn?1400677119
Hey Red:

Maybe it would be worth your time to look at the Expert Forum. They might have something to offer you in the way of what to expect......Just a thought.

Hang in there,
Molly
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765775_tn?1366028291
That is where Sandee directed me. The doctor has answered the question the same way my doctor did today. Apparently there are two different surgeries that are done and one is worse than the other.

I have had more than enough surgery to last two lifetimes, but this doctor told me today that there is the possibility of losing use of my hand and then use of the arm if it is not released.

If my cousin gives me the same answer then I know it is straight out of the official doctor's handbook of things to tell patients that are messed up but they don't know how bad until they get in there.
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178107_tn?1315951230
I had ulnar nerve surgery two years ago. I fell at work and caught myself with my elbow, which caused not only nerve damage to my elbow, but also a torn rotator cuff and two ruptured disks in my neck.  The surgery is done as out patient, the incision was about nine inches long on the inside of my elbow. I was very numb from my elbow down into my pinky and ring finger for quite some time. Most of the numbness is gone now except in my two fingers. I can't really tell if it helped very much. I have been suffering from chronic pain since my neck surgery three years ago.  My doctor was hoping the ulnar nerve surgery would relieve some of my arm pain, but it didn't. He said that I did have alot of scar tissue around my ulnar nerve, caused from the accident. I wish the best of luck.
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765775_tn?1366028291
Thanks Bev,

You have been through something that is very similar to my situation. I have pain the radiates up and down the arm and my ring finger and pinky finger are often stuck to the palm of my hand when I wake up in the morning. The only way I can move my fingers is to lift them off my palm with my left hand and then I can move them on my own again. I do get the pins and neddles in my hand but not that often.

I would like to ask you a few more questions. Were you told that if the nerve damage was not corrected that you could possibly lose the use of your hand and arm if it were to progress further? Was your rotator cuff surgery and the nerve surgery done at the same time or was the nerve surgery done by a Neurosurgeon?

Thanks for your help!
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178107_tn?1315951230
I had the rotator cuff surgery first and an orthopedic surgeon did it.  The cervical fusion and the ulnar nerve surgery were done by a neurosurgeon. They never said anything about lossing the use of my arm, but I had so many issues from the neck surgery I think that he was just hoping that the ulnar nerve surgery would help with some of the pain I was having from that. In fact the nerve conduction test didn't show anything, but he said that sometimes it don't. He knew I had fell on that elbow and thought it may be worth doing because of my pain level.
Have you had an MRI of your neck? From what I understand, C7-T2 in your neck may cause the same symptoms. It may be worth asking your doctor since you've had so many surgeries on your arm.
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765775_tn?1366028291
I have had an MRI on my shoulder and it revealed a full thickness tear of the Infraspinatus Tendon, tears to the labrum, both anterior and posterior, as well a partial posterior dislocation of the humeral head. This shoulder has been reconstructed three times since May, 2007 and scoped once in 2006. I thought the pain running down my arm was from the shoulder injury as it feels close to the same as the first time I injured it, except that the pain is a sharp shooting pain that goes all the way down to the pinky from the back of my shoulder. However, I also have pain in the front of the shoulder as well that runs down to the bicep up to my elbow.

My Orthopedic Surgeon was just going to schedule surgery to repair the torn cuff again but felt there was more going on and ordered the EMG. Turns out he was right. The Neurosurgeon that did the EMG yesterday asked me if I had any pain in my neck or headaches and I told him no so he didn't check my neck.

I just came from my PCP and he confirmed that I could lose the use of my hand if it progresses but said he never heard of anyone losing the use of the arm either. He did a little test for the hell of it that made my fingers curl up and I couldn't move them. It really hurt too. He confirmed yesterday's diagnosis and agreed that it is pretty bad and told me that the way my hand curled up when he applied pressure by my elbow could become permanent. He said it is called "Hook Hand." Both of these doctors are saying that the nerve in compressed inside the joint from trauma.

I will see what the Ortho tells me on the 18th.

I thank you for all of you help. I know it must be painful to type on the computer keys for you as it is for me. I have to take a break often to rest. When I am on here at night sometimes I apply an IcePak to my shoulder so I can stay on longer. lol



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547368_tn?1332173665
Hi Red,

I know 2 ppl that have Ulnar Nerve Damage.  One, my friend that is 41,  had ulnar nerve entrapment and had it surgically released about 5 years ago. She still has nerve pain but is it bearable with pain medications and she has a full time, demanding career.

The other is my Mom that is in her seventies. She chose not to have surgery as the nerve is damaged and it is questionable is surgery will offer her much relief. Her pain is managed with Neurontin and Fentanyl.  

Good luck to you. I know you'll keep us posted. I'm wishing you the best.
Peace, Tuck
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765775_tn?1366028291
It is going to be a difficult decision as my shoulder is in such bad shape that it is difficult to tell whether it will be worth it to have more surgery.

I can tell the difference between the pain from the torn rotator cuff and the nerve damage as one is a sharp pain and the other is shooting, stinging and even burning type pain at times. When they come together it is quite painful and as you know I already take extended release pain medication everyday.

I also was told yesterday that they have found that when the arm is strapped down during rotator cuff surgery and anesthesia is administered, damage to the Ulnar Nerve can occur for some unknown reason. So, I am in quite a pickle.

I am going to spitball is with the surgeon on Monday and give thought to all of my options.

I will keep you updated.
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