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Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
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Have slight tingling pins and needles in little finger of left

Resolved Question:

Have slight tingling pins and needles in little finger of left hand and also on big toe left foot. There almost all the time. What are potential causes?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Do you have tingling in the ring (4th) finger of the left hand as well? Or the pinky side of the forearm?

And how about tingling on the bottom of the foot, or in the calf area?

How long has it been going on?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes very slight on ring finger and fore arm.

No tingling on foot or calf area.

Has been noticeable for about a month.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Do you wear tight shoes?

And did these two start on the same day?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No, usually wear comfortable wide fitting shoes.

Am not sure when it started. Had carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists approx 10 years ago.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
OK.

Well, there are probably two separate things going on here:

 

The numbness in the little and ring finger lead me to believe you could have a condition called "ulnar neuropathy", where the nerve in the groove of the elbow (also known as the "funny bone") can be compressed, and cause pain or numbness in the outer part of the forearm as well as in the pinky and ring fingers.

This can occur due to the pressure of the ligament over the elbow, pressing on the nerve, or by you, resting on your elbows while at a table, for example.

 

http://www.neurosurgeon.com/conditions/ulnar_neuropathy.htm

 

Often times, the best treatment is to remember to stay off of your elbows, not lie on your elbows at the table, keeping them padded so that there is no undue pressure on the elbows.

 

Should this problem persist, a test called a EMG and nerve conduction velocity can help to determine which specific nerves in the arm are responsible for the problem (and confirm the ulnar nerve as the culprit, if it is what we suspect here in this case), and then treatment can then be directed at that cause. You probably had something similar prior to the carpal tunnel surgeries.

 

As for the pinky toe numbness, just that toe being numb seems to be irritation of the nerve to that toe only, usually by local compression (usually shoes). If it involved more of the foot/calf, then perhaps it could be related to sciatic nerve irritation.

Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience: U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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