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Author Topic: Worried about ulnar neuropathy and MS  (Read 223 times)

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Offline matt1990

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Worried about ulnar neuropathy and MS
« on: December 04, 2013, 02:00:27 AM »
5 weeks ago I leaned on my left elbow and felt my ring finger, pinky and part of the left hand go numb. The numbness has been constant ever since and I have reduced feeling in those areas. The dr diagnosed it as ulnar neuropathy and wants me to have an EMG on the 18th.

All I know is that there are some frightening pictures on google where people have had their muscles waste away and their fingers shrivel up to stubs from ulnar neuropathy. I am terrified this will happen to me or that the numbness will become permanent. I asked the dr about it and he would not commit to answering whether this might happen to me. He is having me meet with a surgeon after the EMG is done and said surgery is up to me to decide. That is all he told me. How am I supposed to be able to decide when surgery is right? I'm not the one with a medical degree!! 

I want to know how likely it is to not recover from this condition even with surgery, how long until the numbness becomes permanent and how long until my fingers shrivel up to stubs like on google?

In the back of my mind I am worried that there is an underlying cause to my nerve damage such as MS. Millions of people lean on their elbows everyday and dont end up with ulnar neuropathy. Plus I have been having random twitching all up my left side and occasional numbness in my right big toe.
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Offline greend

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Re: Worried about ulnar neuropathy and MS
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 08:26:41 AM »
I know how scary all this can be.  I've have a prickly sensation in the skin of both of my legs that has gone undiagnosed after an unbelievable amount of testing.  All the questions you have posted really have to be directed to your doctor, because as you said he's the one with the degree.  Did he say why this would have happened in the first place?

Don't jump the gun and envision the worst and don't what ever you do, google.  The worst pictures show up and they are always the worst case scenario.  Definitely enough to depress anyone.
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Offline MrMoleHill

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Re: Worried about ulnar neuropathy and MS
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 10:00:30 AM »
I definitely had some kind of ulnar issue, in the past, which brought me to this website while searching symptoms of MS, Parkinson's, and ALS. I had numbness, tingling, twitching, pain, and heaviness in both arms, elbow, and right down to the fingers. I could barely even write or hold a pen.  I was extremely anxious at the time, and I realized that I was sleeping with my elbows bent very tightly, every night.

Once I stopped sleeping that way, and relaxed my arms more during the day, it eventually resolved itself. I did go to the doctor, and he did suggest MS, but referred me to a neurologist. I never went, gave it some time, and it did get better. Though, I do get an occasional episode now and then.
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Offline kj94702

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Re: Worried about ulnar neuropathy and MS
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 02:06:29 PM »
I don't think MS is relevant here. Neuropathies can be caused by MS but it sounds like you are dealing with an ulnar nerve compression issue. Your doctors are certainly treating it as such by discussing EMGs and surgery (and the onset is consistent with compression). Compression is a peripheral nerve system problem (dealing with damage to the nerves running down your arms for example). MS is a disease of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord....meaning the nerves running down your arms are fine but the signals are never sent there). Your EMG test and surgery are addressing the problem in this way (with the assumption of nerve damage). There is nothing, nothing, nothing in your story, symptoms or treatment that even remotely hint at MS (which would be pursued through MRIs, neurological exams and lumbar punctures).
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