I have a shooting pain running through my left ring finger which I believe stems from a cervical herniated disc problem. I have had this problem on and off for about 10 years now. It feels like an electrical shock that runs from my wrist to the tip of my left ring finger when I bend it. In past events it would "shock" me when I bent my finger and then, if I bent my finger again, it would shock me again. I would keep my finger straight for about 10 minutes and I would be good for at least a year or so. This time is different. It is now Tuesday morning and it has been constant pain since Saturday night and I can't bend my finger, I can't grip anything and I can't do anything at all with my left hand. I currently have an appointment with a neurologist but I don't know if this is the correct doctor to start with. Am I going to the correct doctor for my problem??
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.
Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
One condition that may explain your symptoms is similar to the more commonly known carpal tunnel syndrome. It is called ulnar neuropathy. The ulnar nerve supplies innervation to some of the muscles and the skin on the side of the arm closer to the body (the "medial" forearm and hand), including the pinky and ring finger. Ulnar neuropathy is a type of irritation of the ulnar nerve.. Ulnar neuropathy causes numbness, tingling, or pain into the arm and hand on the side of the little finger. This is sometimes called "handlebar palsy", because it frequently happens in bicyclists who sustain repeated shocks and bouncing that can occur while holding the handlebars when riding. Other activities that involve stress on the hands and wrists may also irritate the ulnar nerve and cause ulnar neuropathy.
Another possible cause of your symptoms is as you suggest a herniated disc affecting a portion of the nerves that eventually form the ulnar nerve (specifically the area involved would be a nerve root, the C8/T1 nerve root). Other areas that could be affected is what is called the brachial plexus, a collection of nerves near the collar bone and armpit that eventually move down the arm to form the nerves that innervate the pinky finger and ring finger etc.
It sounds like you're on the right track with plans for evaluation by a neurologist.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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