quick question, is it constantly tingling and numb or you only feel the numbness and tingling when you touch something with the fingers e.g brush against a surface ??
The severity fluctuates slightly week to week. It's mostly been where my fingers will feel numb and tingly only when I touch something, but when I posted my neurotic post on the 14th the symptoms were at their worst so far and I was having tingly numbness regardless if I touched something or not, pain in my elbow and also a bit trouble moving my pinky. However, during the past few days after that I have actually noticed significant spontaneous improvement in the symptoms! I have feeling back in my fingers and hand. The numbness is still there but are much more mild when I touch something. Waking up this morning the sensations in my left hand were amazing feeling. I do still notice the tingling increases slightly during the day but is much better.
I went to a follow up appointment on the 16th with a doctor and he got me in to see their surgeon today. The surgeon was very informative and not overly biased towards surgery at this point once I pressed him on alternatives. He did inform me surgery is never guaranteed positive results. He checked my feeling with a pin prick test where I had to tell him how many prongs were on my finger without looking. I actually passed this test! He said my physicals look good.
I questioned him about how much more time would it be safe to give this before risking permanent nerve damage or muscle wasting. The response was "you never can know for sure with nerve damage. The nerve has been compressed and once treated it is up to the nerve to heal itself. Even with early surgery there may be some numbness afterwards but generally results are easier to predict with earlier treatment and are usually very good. I wouldn't say hey, lets see you back in 6 months and decide then. This is something you need to take care of relatively soon. I wouldnt be opposed to you having surgery today or giving it another 4 weeks."
I then asked him about the anatomy of my cubital tunnel condition and how surgery would benefit me given that the problem was caused by leaning on my elbow for extended periods of time. I wanted to know since my nerve was irritated by leaning on it, wouldnt theoretically the condition improve on its own without surgery if I stop the aggravating actions? He basically agreed with me and said that it should improve and many people dont get surgery.
So we decided to give it 4 more weeks of conservative treatment and then do a follow up.
I've asked all the doctors about cubital tunnel exercises up to this point and none of them offered any so I havent been doing any. I have been carefully watching my arm position, making sure not to lean on it, wearing a padded brace at night and am taking meloxicam. I asked about exercises or physical therapy to the surgeon and he said I probably would benefit from them. So before I left he had a nurse give a paper on it and show how to do them.
Flasharoo I know you mentioned the exercises. I should have listened to you! I wish the doctors had instructed me to be doing them all along! Today I went on youtube to watch some exercises and there are quite a variety and wonder which ones would be best. Are there any in particular that really helped you? So what is your opinion on my visit with the surgeon and waiting another 4 weeks given the recent improvements? Any other questions I should ask next time?