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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
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Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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I get sharp stabbing pains just above my elbow. What could ...

Resolved Question:

I get sharp stabbing pains just above my elbow. What could be causing this?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Where else does this stabbing pain go?

Does it travel down the arm toward the pinky and ring fingers?

Does it seem to involve the tricep muscle, on the back of the upper arm?

Have you had any injury to the neck or the elbow?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Mark's Post: It doesn't travel really. I do occasionaly have my pinky finger go ice cold, but it is not during the same time as the sharp pain.
It is on the back of the upper arm. I haven't had any injuries that I know of.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Do you have any weakness in that muscle itself?

How long has this been going on, and when the pains come, how long do they last?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
When it happens its like the muscle is weak and its hard to lift my arm. When the pain comes sometimes it comes and goes every couple of minutes for about 10 to 20 mins..

Ive expreience this pain off and on for the last year
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Coming and going, and off and on for the past year seem to suggest that this is nerve related, and possibly from the neck.

However, the pain associated from a "pinched" nerve in the neck would usually also radiate down the arm into the fingers. Though the pain from a C5, or fifth nerve irritation, would cause pain over the top of the shoulder, into the top of the arm, not go past the elbow, and cause weakness in the deltoid and bicep muscles, primarily involved in lifting the arm at the shoulder.

I would be inclined to talk with your doctor about this, and after a physical exam, if he/she feels like it is worth pursuing, a MRI of the cervical spine may help to look at the nerves in the neck and determine if there is any "pinching" of these nerves.
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