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Thank you for your question.
You have an exact anwer for what is causing your problem in your hand. It is the Disc degneration at the level of C5-6 and C8-T1. This area of the spinal cord innervates the Brachial plexus which innervates the muscles in your hand. If there is a bulging disc present, this can be operated on. If it is just the degneration, they can do a balloon procedure which would be explained to you by a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon. It will not help any permanent muscle damage, but will alleviate the current pressure on the nerve roots that ate at the spinal canal and prevent further damage.
No, it is not the beginning of ALS. That is an ascending degenerative nerve disease that starts with problems in the lower extremities and extends upward. Absent reflexes in an ascending fashion are the hallmark. It never occurs in just one extremity.
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It can possibly affect the other hand, because both sides of the body are affected at that level of the spinal cord.
When he said ALS was a remote chance, he was being polite. It is not ALS.
Cramps and twitches go along with compression of the nerves. ALS does not.