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Ask Dr. Muneeb Ali Your Own Question
Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 6359
Experience:  MBBS, MD, MCCM. Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
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I woke up with numbness in my left hand. Fore finger and

Customer Question

i woke up with numbness in my left hand. Fore finger and thumb. that won't go away.
JA: What seems to make the symptoms worse or better? In general, how would you describe your health lately?
Customer: i'm 68 years old a little over weight 5'7 195 pounds on high bp meds. still work full time exercise a couple times a week eat a healthy diet drink alcohol once a week a glass of wine. good health generally.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: no
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 6 months ago.

Hi,
Welcome to JA and thanks for this question. Im sorry to hear about your symptoms. Can i ask do you have any weakness in the same hand? Can you grip something or hold a cup? Any other symptoms like burning, tingling or pain in the region?

Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 6 months ago.

Since you seem to be offline, ill leave a response here which we can discuss later on.

The first thing which comes to mind is that you could have developed compression of the nerves at the level of the wrist joint. The numbness in the forefinger and the thumb indicates that the median nerve may be compressed. This is the main nerve which supplies most of the fingers of teh hand and passes through the wrist joint. This compression can be the result of an awkward position of the wrist while you slept or could be even due to development of the condition over a period of time. Usually these symptoms are seen in carpal tunnel syndrome which you could be prone do especially if you work in an environment where there is constant typing etc. Now in most cases of compression the easiest way to treat it would be to wear a wrist brace at night when you sleep, decrease activities such as typing and if you cant then take frequent breaks, Use OTC anti inflammatory medications like motrin or aleve which may be helpful. Long term therapy centers on physiotherapy for the area which helps significantly and also by using steroid injections which will help relieve the compression.

If however there is weakness in your hand grip along with the numbness or if the numbness is progressing to the rest of the hand and up to the arm or you are developing weakness on one side of the body then you should immediately proceed to the ER in that case. If these symptoms appear then you will need a MRI of teh brain to be done immediately.

Now i would suggest that you start with the wrist braces and anti inflammatory medications but do see your doctor if this persists beyond 48 hours for further testing.

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