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I've recently started losing sensation in the tips of my…

Customer Question
I've recently started losing...

I've recently started losing sensation in the tips of my fingers and occasionally have shooting pains up my fingers when there's pressure on the fingertips.

Doctor's Assistant: How long have you been dealing with this? Any other symptoms?

It's been present in two fingers — right thumb and index finger — for years. About a month ago it became much more pronounced, and now affects all the fingers of my left hand as well. (This corresponds exactly with my taking up the cello.)

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?

Long history of depression and heavy alcohol use.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Health
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Answered in 57 minutes by:
11/19/2017
Health Professional: Dr. Mo, Doctor (MD) replied 7 months ago
Dr. Mo
Dr. Mo, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 2,007
Experience: Board Certified MD
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Hi, Dr. Mo here with JA. Please let me review the information and I'll reply shortly.

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Health Professional: Dr. Mo, Doctor (MD) replied 7 months ago

Have you ever been tested for carpal tunnel syndrome and is the sensation worse when you're using your hands or does it happen at random?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I've never been tested for carpal tunnel. The numbness and pain become more pronounced when I'm using my fingers a lot (playing cello for the left hand, extended smartphone use for right thumb), and for 12-36 hours afterwards.Should note that when I say fingertip, I do mean only the very tip of the fingers are affected, I the contact area with whatever I'm doing.
Health Professional: Dr. Mo, Doctor (MD) replied 7 months ago

I think what you are describing is incredibly descriptive for carpal tunnel syndrome. It would be good to get tested for it. The treatment involves physical therapy of the wrists to decrease the pressure on the nerve in the wrist.

You would also be given splints to wear at night.

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Health Professional: Dr. Mo, Doctor (MD) replied 7 months ago

There could be other causes such as nerve entrapment or neuropathy. To figure that out your neurologist can perform nerve conduction studies but I have a feeling that it's the carpal tunnel.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I honestly hadn't thought of carpal tunnel since (at least on the left hand) it affects parts of my hand not innervated by the median nerve. Guess I need to get tested then.
Health Professional: Dr. Mo, Doctor (MD) replied 7 months ago

The innervation of the median nerve isn't always the same for every person. And there are different degrees of carpal tunnel so it can sometimes be tough to assess it from a history alone. The exam can help and nerve conduction studies are also effective.

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Health Professional: Dr. Mo, Doctor (MD) replied 7 months ago

Please let me know if I can expand on any of the information I have provided.

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Health Professional: Dr. Mo, Doctor (MD) replied 7 months ago

I hope I provided you with a 5-star service.

Feel free to ask any follow up questions by returning to this question thread for free in the future.

Dr. Mo

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