slightly OT, but it is a pain...

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BethW
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Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 4/26/2010 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
So... my back has been slowly getting worse for the past couple of weeks, so it's about time for another ESI. No big deal- I'll give my PM a call when the office opens in a half hour. scool Oh, yeah... my dad is coming for a visit tomorrow, so it's time to straighten up the house and run to the grocery store. Smooth sailing. cool And the birthday of one of my best friends is tomorrow, so I'll be taking her out to lunch tomorrow (woohoo! Sushi!). turn All good. Can't forget that my in-laws will be here next weekend... ok... scrub the house... still going along... tongue Oh, wait! What's this? My pinkie and part of my ring finger on my right hand have been getting numb off and on (but daily) for the past month, and my hand and elbow have hurt from time to time... I really don't have time to run to the doctor for a pinched ulnar nerve only to be told either a) just let it work itself out; or b) "let's send you to a surgeon for a consult." sad

Have any of you had to deal with a pinched ulnar nerve (that's your funny bone nerve)? It's not that it usually hurts (although it does once in a while). Any ideas on how to keep the nerve from pinching?

PS- Yeah... goofy mood this morning... not enough sleep... must get more sleep... smurf
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1)


Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 4/26/2010 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Beth,
your fingers getting numb could be several things and I would say to talk it over with your doctor..
maybe getting a EMG to see if any nerves are impinged, or getting an x-ray or mri...but
definitely talk to your doctor about it,
enjoy your time with your Dad and friends...
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Beth)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
hugz
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


BethW
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 4/26/2010 8:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Chart! I know what's causing the intermittent numbness- the ulnar nerve is becoming impinged in the elbow joint. It can stop doing that on its own OR they can open my elbow up and do a ulnar transposition surgery (they move the nerve from the "inside" of the elbow to the "outside" and pin it where it won't get trapped again).

*stomps foot* but I don't WANT to go the doctor for something so goofy... and *stomp* I don't want to even think about having surgery on my elbow (ouch!) *stomp* *pout*

Sorry... I was just wondering if anyone has had experience with this and knows how to keep the silly nerve from sliding back in there without a scalpel, a 6" incision, and 4-6 weeks recovery. ;-)
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1)


Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 4/26/2010 8:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Good morning BethW! I also have a problem with the Ulnar nerve at the elbow joint. Very painful! Do you sleep on your back? If you do, you may want to think about putting a pillow underneath your elbows to take the pressure off of them while your sleeping.
My elbows used to hang at my side while I was sleeping, and they would actually hurt worse when I would wake up in the morning. I believe that when they hang at your side and rest on the mattress, this would put extra pressure on the ulnar nerve.

Give it a try, and see if it help you like it did for me. I also got Cortisone shots in the elbow as well, and that helped speed up the healing process as well.

SE :)
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.


White Beard
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 4/26/2010 10:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Beth


Have a question for you. Are you sure it is the ulnar nerve? and how are you so sure? I am not doubting you, well maybe just a little. [img]/community/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] But you know irritation of the nerve root some where between C-5 and C7 can also cause the same thing that you are describing. I am not saying it is what your problem is, but am saying that maybe you should go to the Doctor and have him check it out? I know I hate going to the Doctor because allot of them make you feel like your wasting their time! But what the heck your paying them for that time with you! Anyway just be careful with it, I do wish you well!



White Beard

BethW
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 4/26/2010 10:45 AM (GMT -7)   
White Beard, I'm 99.9% sure it's my ulnar nerve because I sleep with my elbow almost completely bent (like you would do right after the lab tech siphons off a couple of tubes). That's the #1 cause of ulnar nerve impingement. That, and, if my pinkie goes numb while my elbow is bent during the day(like right now while I'm playing Farmville on my laptop), I can get some relief by straightening it out for a while. And my elbow hurts. All that being said, I'm more than willing to toss out all possibility to my GP. I'm not really sure which would be better, though... ;)

SE, I'll try the pillows and see if that helps. One site suggested that I wrap a bath towel around my arm so I can't bend it. That REALLY sound uncomfortable.

Thanks, everyone!
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1)


Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 4/26/2010 11:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello BethW! I have heard of patients suffering from this condition, wearing knee pads on their elbows. I did wear a special arm and wrist brace. It is supposed to keep your wrist from bending, as it works that tendon back and forth, and may irritate the nerve in question.

I also wanted to echo what the last member said about maybe a neck injury being the cause of some of the symptoms. You don't want to brush off the suggestion so easily, as It was my second suggestion to you as well. Some of the symptoms you have written about here, are very well inline with the suggestion he gave. However, if you are that confident of your diagnoses, I would say treat for that first. If you don't see any improvement, you may want to consider other options. I also wanted to say that if you have never received Cortisone injections, they can be a real source of relief and will act very quickly as well.

The problem with your type of injury is that it may take a very long time of treatments before you see results, especially of you are treating with PT. I would strongly suggest you visit with your PCD and get a correct diagnoses right away. What I had was tendinitis, and is not really a pinched nerve. I did not suffer from numb fingers from it, but did suffer from numb fingers from compressed disk in the neck.

Either way, it can be very painful to say the least. For your sake, I hope it is the elbow ulnar nerve as you say and not a neck problem.

Good Luck to you, and be careful with self diagnoses. We all mean well here, and are just trying to make sure you have entertained all possibility's.

SE :)
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.


BethW
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 4/26/2010 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
OK... OK... I called my PCP. He had a cancellation and can get me in this afternoon. Ya big bunch of Mother Hens! (Just kidding! I appreciate your advice and concern!!!!) I'll let you know what he tells me.
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1)


kimber9807
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 492
   Posted 4/26/2010 11:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Beth, mine does the same thing if my elbow is bent . Good Luck.
im dxed with  herniated discs,fibromylagia , scolosis,ddd,athritis, spinal stenosis , spinal blockage ,gerd,gastric ulcer (2008), pernicous anemia , folic acid anemia and gallbladder removal 3/23/10.
 
meds: lunesta, prilosec otc, ,reglan,bentyl, ibuprofren,Ultracet, folic acid , b12 injections, zyrtec and benadryl.
 
Just added : folic acid supplement  1 mg a day for the next year and also b12 injections increased to once a month. pernicous anemia and  Folic acid anemia.


Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 4/26/2010 12:05 PM (GMT -7)   
:) good for you BethW! You are right about the Mother Hen part, but it is indicative of members who truly care :)

We will be waiting for your update, and make sure you ask a million questions while your there! Your paying for it! :)

And ask about the Cortisone shot. I don't know if you have an over worked Tendon and pulling on the nerve, but if it is, a shot can do wonders.

SE :)
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.


BethW
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 4/26/2010 2:16 PM (GMT -7)   
PCP said it is the ulnar nerve, and I need to try to keep my elbow straight AND use an elbow pad during the day to avoid putting pressure on the nerve. He also gave me a one-month prescription for Neurontin to help with pain and inflammation. If it's not better in a month, then he will send me to a neurologist for more tests.

Thanks for caring, gang!!
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1)


Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 4/26/2010 4:02 PM (GMT -7)   
OK, that's better than a bed neck, but did you ask him about a cortisone shot? It really does help. Lets hope you get better with the elbow pads and the Neurontin script.

SE :)
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.


BethW
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 4/26/2010 5:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I did ask about the shot. He said pill first, needles if necessary later.
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1)


Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 4/26/2010 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Beth,

I am glad to hear it's something not too serious...

I find it really strange that he would rather start you on a prescription for a medicine than do a very easy shot of cortisone and ibuprofen...Neurontin is not an 'as needed basis' type medicine...It takes times to wean off this medicine once you go on it..so please just be aware and read up on this medicine..As well as it can cause extreme dizziness in the beginning so please do not drive and be careful when first taking it..

It could work very well for you as it's meant for nerve pain...but it's usally prescribed mostly for damaged nerves like with disc issues or Fibromyalgia...so..not trying to 'one up' your Dr..LOL...it just seemed like an odd way to go about things...

I certainly hope that you can get some relief, since that is the goal...keep us posted..


SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006
 
 

Post Edited (Snowbunny21) : 4/26/2010 7:13:58 PM (GMT-6)


Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 4/26/2010 6:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm glad you got into the doctor it's best if they can help you ,
I'll be hoping the elbow pad and medicine will help you...
keep us posted on that...may you get a low pain day soon..
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Beth)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
hugz
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


Blessedx8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 4/26/2010 10:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Beth...

Glad you went to the doc... and confirmed what is going on with you... Sorry you are in so much pain... and hope you get some relief soon.

Take care of yourself... Tina
Main Health Problems: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Chronic Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Hypoadrenalism; Mixed (Obstructive/Central) Sleep Apnea - on Auto BiPap; Depression/Anxiety; Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

Pain Issues: Cervical/Thoracic back pain (they called it DDD...but I don't know); migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands/arms/feet; Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial (Sept, 2008); awaiting my decision for implantation...


opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 4/27/2010 12:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Beth-
I was battling the same problem for almost 9 months in '08. I was going to PT 3 times a week and after 4 months they couldn't make any headway. My ortho doc wanted to cast my arm all the way to the shouler for a month, but I couldn't work at all that way(im a mechanic). He decided to make a splint that was the same length as the cast, but I could remove it to work. It healed in about 2 weeks with the splint. My doctor told me the biggest issue is sleeping with your hand curled up. He said it causes allot of pressure on the elbow. I have to use the splint very once in a while if I forget and start sleeping with my arm under my pillow and bend my wrist. Oh, I also had about 5 or 6 cortizone shots in the elbow that only helped for a day or so. I also had a wrist splint and it did work a little, but not nearly as well as the full splint did. I was worried about the elbow being bent 90 degrees in the spiny, but it healed nice and quickly.
So if you do sleep with you arm extended above your head or under your pillow, please make sure you are not bending your wrist.

Take care,
Bill

BethW
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 4/27/2010 7:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Bill, thanks for the tip. I have NO idea if I bend my wrist when I sleep, but I do know that I have a wrist splint I can use to make sure I don't.

As a quick update, I couldn't pick up my Neurontin yesterday, so I'm going to begin it tonight. I'm supposed to do 3 days of once a day, 3 days of twice a day, and then 3x/day after that. I'm about ready for the meds to work. My elbow, wrist and fingers have been achy all day (which my dr says is better than numb... numb is bad... ) I have my elbow pads, which I guess I don't really like, because I took it off my arm in my sleep last night. Let's try that again tonight.

Thanks again to everyone for their advice!
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1)


Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 4/27/2010 9:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello BethW! Don't forget to try the pillows under your arms. It worked wonders for me :) This only works if your sleeping on your back though.

SE :)
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.


BethW
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 4/28/2010 5:47 PM (GMT -7)   
SE, I don't usually sleep on my back. Thanks, though!
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1)


Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 4/28/2010 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
  Dear Beth,
 
      I am terribly sorry I have been away. But I am ever so glad you finally went to your doctor and tlaked to him about it. I really hope by now you have the new script and it is helping atleast somewhat. I really hope you can find a few moments of relief because it soulds like it has become a regular and relentless problem for quite some time now! Take care and you are in our hearts here!
 
*hugg*
  dani

 

 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

 

 

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