2 yrs post ulnar nerve transposition & worse than before

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paulaceevee
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/26/2017 12:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I am new to this and don't really know how this works so please bear with me. I had ulnar nerve transposition surgery in January 2015. The surgeon explained to me that the numbness and pain in my pinkie and ring finger could take 12-18 months to get better. Well, that timeline has long passed and I am in worse pain than before surgery. I've had a couple of stellate ganglion blocks and ketamine - twice - and narcotics which do and did nothing.To say I'm frustrated is an understatement and wonder if anyone else has suffered with this type of outcome. I've changed doctors because I wasn't happy with the lack of answers. I have new doctors now and so far, they haven't given me much hope for new treatments that will work either. I've even asked them to please just kill the nerve(s) altogether so the unrelenting pain will allow me to have a better quality of life. Thoughts, anyone?



I have given your post a heading.

Post Edited By Moderator (straydog) : 3/26/2017 6:10:59 PM (GMT-6)


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15005
   Posted 3/26/2017 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi paula & welcome to Healing Well. Can you share with us what led to this surgery? What type of dr did your original surgery? Do you have a copy of your op records? If not I would obtain a copy. You mentioned you have a new dr, what type is he? Have you thought about consulting with a specialist that deals with upper extremity issues only?

Sorry for so many questions, just trying to get a little more info. Thanks.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

pitmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 2116
   Posted 3/26/2017 7:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Yikes! Two years and not any better? That stinks!

I too am wondering what the original injury was and what type of surgeon did your transposition?

Have you tried any of the meds for nerve pain? Back when I had my injury (traumatic blunt force) I was put on Elavil.

What modalities were used in your physical therapy, post op?

I had considered a second surgery a few years after the first, because my nerve was still causing quite a bit of discomfort. The odds of a second surgery giving me much benefit were slim and I decided not to try. Since then, the nerve has continued to calm down and now is not much trouble. It sounds like you are in a worse state than I was and I don't blame you for trying to find a way to resolve this.
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, wrist ganglionectomies/denervectomies/tenolysis, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cyst, whiplash, bursitis of hips, tendonitis, torus, 3rd degree shoulder separation, torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus

Leila W
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2015
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 3/26/2017 7:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Paula,

I am glad you are writing here. I came here when I started going through my surgeries back in 2013 or so. I have had 5 surgeries on my right arm do to an accident at work. One of my surgeries was ulnar nerve transposition. I had that surgery February 27 2015. I am just now two years later starting to feel some relief. I still have major coldness and tingling but it doesn't wake me as it did. I have taken Gabapentin, Lyrica, opioid, muscle relaxers, mood stabilizers, and seizure medication..... What they have found out is that the nerve is or could be pinched in my collar bone. I have had three nerve conduction tests since the injury. I have an appointment with a new doctor on the sixth of next month. I know the pain you are feeling believe you me and I am so sorry you are experiencing this. After three years on all these crazy drugs, I walked in and asked the doctor to take me off. Please keep in mind this doesn't work for everyone and I can only say that I felt all the drugs they were pumping through me were making it worse. I didn't know what was me and what was the drugs. It was a horrible horrible time, lack of sleep, depression, sadness, crankiness.... I got of everything but the muscle relaxers and sleeping pills. It was one of the worst weeks of my life. What I found is that all the mixture of drugs were wreaking havoc on me and my body. What I did was request from my doctor was to fix it not drug me. This got me my next nerve test and an appointment with a never specialist..... Believe it or not, my pain is manageable at times and unmanageable at others. But it is no longer constant.... Try to get yourself in to a Nerve specialist and get some nerve conduction studies done. You may have a pinch in another area, shoulder, wrist, collar bone, neck etc.... Keep the faith that there will be a solution! Advocate for yourself as you did changing doctors! I did not feel relief till January this year when I went off of everything but what I listed.... Please don't think that my answers are yours but remember always you are in control of your care. You know you best! Blessings and healing to you xxxx Don't lose hope!
Leila
I am blessed to be here, no matter what pain l have. Two Rotator cuff repairs, Ulnar nerve transposition, ulnar collateral ligament repair, scapholunate ligament repair all on right arm. Chronic Sciatica and Ovarian cyst issues. Un-named blood disorder Platelet issue, Sjogern's syndrome and Pericarditis the last three are all idiopathic disorders

paulaceevee
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/26/2017 7:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your support and understanding. The surgery was done because of a repetitive motion injury at work which caused cubital tunnel syndrome. I had a labral tear in my left shoulder which was repaired in July 2014. I was very happy with the outcome of that surgery and agreed to have the ulnar nerve surgery the following January thinking I'd get the same great results. I was sorely mistaken. I just started seeing a new orthopedist, hand specialist and pain management doctor and like I mentioned before, not much happening to fix this. It is getting very difficult to maintain any optimism. I tried Neurontin and the side effects included severe anxiety and suicidal thoughts so I stopped that immediately. My new orthopedist put me on Celebrex last month and I feel no different. I asked my new doctors if they thought something could've happened during my surgery and they are non-commital which isn't surprising. The pain doc said I should get a nerve conduction test but because my arm is so sensitive, I am terrified of doing it (I had it before surgery and it was very uncomfortable then!) and asked if they would sedate me to do it. I haven't gotten the authorization for it yet anyway...I haven't seen the op records but my worker's comp attorney has them. I'm going to ask my new orthopedist if he's read the surgery notes next time I see him.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15005
   Posted 3/26/2017 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
paula, if Neurotin is the only medication you have tried for the nerve pain there are many others used to treat nerve pain. The reason narcotics didn't help is they do not have any effect on true nerve pain. I don't think Celebrex would have much of an effect on your arm pain either. It may help a tad with inflammation, however, your problem is nerve related.

Drs will not admit another dr messed something up. It is extremely rare for one to stick his neck out that far. A nerve conduction study would be really helpful, however, I doubt they could sedate you for one. You don't want to see surgery notes, you need a copy of the actual op records.

I hope you can get some answers.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

pitmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 2116
   Posted 3/27/2017 9:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, the 'good news' is you found the E.M.G. to be uncomfortable. That means your nerve was much more active than mine was! I felt nothing until my neck.

You didn't say what sort of physical therapy was done after the transposition surgery. I credit my good outcome to p.t..

You say your arm is still very sensitive. What has been done to desensitize it? Anything?

Now that the nerve is buried under my muscles, keeping in mind that I am very tiny (4'11", 94 lbs) whenever I use my left hand alot, the nerve gets irritated and can ache terribly. Sometimes, I even get the nerve twitching. I seldom get the 'lightening bolt' pain anymore. When in this condition, the only things that truly help me with relief are Ibuprofen and my heating pad. I've also soaked my forearm in Epsom salt bath.

I awake every morning with tendonitis pain stemming from the 'back' of the elbow. For this, the only thing that seems to help is naproxen.

Both ibuprofen and naproxen are anti inflammatories, but one works for one type of 'pain' and the other works better on the other type of 'pain'. There was a period of time I was given Celebrex, and when that didn't produce much benefit, they tried Mobic. The point is, if we don't try different meds, we won't know what truly helps.

Ibuprofen helps my headaches and other 'aches'. Naproxen helps my tendonitis and bursitis. Nothing helps the 'nerve' pain much except ice. Whether it's in my arm or shooting down my leg.

Your nerve could be entrapped again, by scar tissue this time. I've heard the term 'tethering' in here, not sure if it applies, but something to look at.

I would get a consult with a neurologist as well as an upper extremity specialist. While the prospect of another E.M.G. isn't appealing, it may be the only way to figure out what is going on and where!
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, wrist ganglionectomies/denervectomies/tenolysis, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cyst, whiplash, bursitis of hips, tendonitis, torus, 3rd degree shoulder separation, torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus
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