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  • Big nerve
    Post count: 11

    Hi Doctor i have a really sore neck and my pinky finger and half of my ring finger goes numb i was wondering if the numbness is connected to my neck it is my left hand mainly but sometimes my right hand as well i have had trouble with my lower back as well had op on 19/5/11 it was a L5/s1 Decompression surgery and i am still in pain from that injury i have had a mri since my surgery and it says there are clumping of the nerves see specialists tomorrow but the numbness in my fingers are worrying me dont know what is going on it is bad enough with my lower back then now my neck and fingers are going numb Thanks Doctor for your help

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8507

    Let us separate these issues as the lower back symptoms are not related to the neck. The “sore neck” may not be related to your hand numbness. The numbness in your pinky and one half the ring finger is the sensory distribution of the ulnar nerve. The ulnar nerve is formed in the brachial plexus- this formation occurs in the shoulder and not in the spine. You could have a C8 nerve involvement but that would be somewhat rare.

    The ulnar nerve normally becomes irritated in both thoracic outlet syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome. Thoracic outlet syndrome occurs when the nerves of the shoulder (brachial plexus) get caught in some of the tunnels between bone and muscle insertion. Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs in the elbow where the ulnar nerve becomes trapped in a bony tunnel (the “funny bone”). There also is a tunnel in the wrist that the ulnar nerve traverses that can also pinch the nerve (tunnel of Guyon).

    If your hand becomes numb when you extend your head (bend it backwards) and improves with flexion (bend your head forward), then the origin of the nerve irritation may be in your neck. However, if your head is bent forward, you raise your arm over your head and your hand goes numb, the origin may be from the shoulder or elbow.

    The prior surgery at L5-S1 with arachnoiditis (nerve clumping) is not related to your neck. That is a different issue and one that needs to be assessed by an experienced spine surgeon.

    Dr. Corenman

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