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Judy, Nurse
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 914
Experience:  RN in ICU for 35 years
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I have had numbness in my left arm and tingling in my ring

Customer Question

I have had numbness in my left arm and tingling in my ring finger and pinky on my right hand for about 3 days.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Judy replied 11 years ago.
This is likely to be caused by an ulnar nerve injury on the right. This is the
nerve that comes down through the elbow to the inside of the forearm
and on to the heel of the hand and supplies those two fingers.
Usually it is only the pinkie and the pinkie side of the ring finger
and the part of the hand that is adjacent to those fingers. Is
there anything you can think of that would have injured the outside of
the wrist (the side near the pinkie), even just pressure on the area
for an unusual amount of time? A cyst or other small growth is
the usual cause. Small fractures can trap the nerve. Typing
with pressure on the area is also a possibility.
Other possibilities are that there is a nerve in the neck area that has
been pinched by a herniated disc. This makes sense because you
have problems on both sides. Spinal cord problem will need to be
ruled our as well.
A neurologist can examine the area and order such tests as an EMG, MRI,
or CAT scan. MRI of the neck may also be done to rule out
pressure on the root nerve at the level of the spinal canal or at the cord itself since you have problems on both sides!
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Judy's Post: Sorry Judy - I mis-typed... the numbeness and tingling are all in the left side. The right side is fine.
Expert:  Judy replied 11 years ago.
OK, that's good
news!! But we would still want to rule out something central like
a nerve root off the spinal cord. These often get pinched by a
herniated disk. The one that would be responsible for the area
you describe would most likely be the cervical nerve below the 8th
cervical vertebra, basically at the base of the neck, just between the
shoulders. My suggestions would be the same - neurologist, MRI,
maybe EMG.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Judy's Post: Wouldn't I be feeling discomfort elsewhere (e.g. back of neck) if this were the case. The only discomfort I have is on my left arm and pinkie and ring fingers on the left arm.
Thanks Judy
Expert:  Judy replied 11 years ago.
most likely you would, but it's still better to rule out those
things as well as looking at the more local area of the wrist and
hand. How high up is the arm tingling? I'm thinking about
the shoulder as well, as the nerves do pass through there, but you
would probably be having more discomfort there as well if that were the