Posted 1/23/2017 3:14 PM (GMT -7)
Hello superwolf and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear you've injured your ulnar nerve.
I injured mine while working at an industrial laundry. Some of the items had stuck to the wall of the machine and while pulling them off, a whole bunch of it fell and mashed my left elbow against the metal opening of the machine. Essentially, I tore open the protective sheath, without breaking the bone! I had a huge bruise. My shoulder was also injured (3/4 thickness tear of a tendon) and the focus was on that injury for months. I constantly complained about the elbow and worsening symptoms and after 4 months, had an EMG done. That showed I was down to about 23% of my nerve function.
I had ulnar nerve transposition surgery the following month. The surgeon said the nerve had shredded. He buried what was left under the muscles in my arm for protection. I was casted for a month and then underwent physical therapy for several weeks. One of the modalities used was what my therapist called 'points'. A stylus would be placed at different locations along the new nerve route and an electric current would come through the stylus to stimulate the nerve. This would go on for 10 - 15 minutes. Afterward, the whole area would be massaged.
I would get jolts of pain, on and off for months. The 'good news' is that means the nerve is regenerating. Ice was the only thing that helped. Not that it helped much, mind you, but having something to do while it was happening was a sort of help in and of itself.
This was all back in 1996, before they had the medications for nerve pain that they now have.
Fast forward 20 years...I've regained quite a bit of nerve function and the jolts have long since stopped. I tried dental assistant school a few years ago but the 'instrument pick up' is done with the pinky and I still cannot use it that way, grasping and gripping something with it. I still have numbness and tingling, but barely notice it unless I concentrate on it. If I overuse the forearm, I will get an ache, similar to how I feel if I have the flu, localized along the nerve path.
I garden, I type, I crochet, I paint (walls, not portraits) I can do just about everything I did before. I do have to watch out for temperature related things though. My brain reads 'cold' as 'wet'. Hot is still hot, thank goodness. I can feel 'itch' but not 'scratch'. Leaning or bumping the fleshy part of my arm will produce the 'hit my funnybone' effect.
I was told, early on, that whatever I had at one year would pretty much be what I would have for the rest of the future. Hopefully, in the next 10 months, you will have good restoration.