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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 18762
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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In the beginning of September (7 weeks ago) I had a cervical

Customer Question

In the beginning of September (7 weeks ago) I had a cervical epidural with platelet lysates (prp) for a herniated disc at c5/c6 level and pain down my left arm. Since the epidural I have been having pain in my right hand and arm. Today I am feeling a burning
and prickling feeling at the right side of top of my pinky finger. This is a new symptom. I have been having pain in my right elbow and above the elbow. The pain is traveling around my right hand and arm. I had no pain at all in my right hand and arm before
the epidural. All the pain was in my left arm. I am worried that I have nerve damage from the epidural. Maybe arachnoiditis. The doctor did include contrast dye in the epidural injection. The injection was 7 weeks ago? How can I check if I have nerve damage
or arachnoiditis and if it is permanent?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

There is limited ability to test for nerve dysfunction or damage at home. There is no method to look for evidence of arachnoiditis at home.

You can try to identify nerve dysfunction by testing sensation along the skin using a Q-tip or pointed object. Doctors talk about testing for pin prick sensation, but we do not use a tool that is so sharp that it will puncture skin. It is not always easy to test oneself, but if you can do so and compare any loss of sensation to nerve patterns or dermatomes in the skin (which are easy to find by searching on the internet), that would be the best that can be done at home.

Seeing nerve dysfunction on testing, either at home or at a doctors office, does not say why the nerve dysfunction is present. Identifying the cause of the nerve dysfunction, including whether it could be due to arachnoiditis, cannot be done at home.

While it is also impossible to test for whether nerve dysfunction is permanent at home, the reality is that most of the causes of nerve dysfunction causing symptoms such as you describe will likely improve with proper treatment.

If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.