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Ask Dr.Sawhney Your Own Question
Dr.Sawhney, Orthopedic Surgeon
Category: Orthopedics
Satisfied Customers: 7180
Experience:  More than a decade of post qualification experience
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I've had a weakness feeling in my left thumb (on an off) for

Customer Question

I've had a weakness feeling in my left thumb (on an off) for the past couple of months. In September I had a "twitching/spasm" episode with it and ever since I feel like it's weak (but it's not...I did an EMG on it to check for carpal tunnel and my EMG
was really good). I have occasional twitching, but not like it was in September. Along with that, I also have this occasional burning sensation that travels up my thumb side into the inside of my forearm. Would this sound like a pinched nerve or tendonitis?
Would tendonitis show up on an EMG? Does this sound like MS or ALS?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Orthopedics
Expert:  Dr.Sawhney replied 1 year ago.


What other tests or investigations you have had for this?

Your age and gender please?

What iwas the report of EMG?

Can you reproduce here?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I went to a physical therapist who thought it might be carpal tunnel so she did an EMG on it...she didn't tell me actual numbers but ruled out carpal tunnel because the test results were "beautiful". She did a few other tests as well but I guess I passed them! She diagnosed it as benign facilitation but I continue to have a burning sensation on my thumb side up into my forearm and a weakness feeling in thumb.I am 36, femaleThanks
Expert:  Dr.Sawhney replied 1 year ago.


This does not sound like tendinitis.

A pinched nerve can present like this but should have shown up on EMG study.

ALS can start with variable symptoms but the course ofals involves gradual progressive deterioration and if you have improved it is unlikely to be ALS. MS again has a very variable presentation.

You need to have yourself examined by a Neurologist who can synthesise the clinical information with findings of an EMG test which may need to be repeated because it is an operator dependent investigation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The EMG was only on my wrist and forearm. If it's a pinched nerve would this have shown up or would it need to be taken higher up like the cervical spine?
Expert:  Dr.Sawhney replied 1 year ago.

A pinched nerve should have shown up on EMG in wrist and forearm.

More extensive EMG would be needed for ALS or MS diagnosis.