Ulnar Nerve Decompression Surgery

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Four months ago I had ulnar nerve decompression surgery to treat numbness in my right hand pinky and ring fingers. The surgery did not help - I still have the numbness. I;d appreciate hearing from people about their experience with ulnar nerve decompression surgery.

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  • Posted

    Hi there, I had posterior cervical decompression at C5 level my little fingers and underside of both hands has been totally numb.

    Last Monday, after coming out of surgery, I was SCREAMING in agony after surgery. I had gone from numb to hands feeling like they were constantly submerged into boiling oil. The profanity was unreal.

    After 5 days, the burning oil sensations have subsided. They are not numb, but feel like they have been beaten. I am currently left with electric shock feelings in my hands. ALL numbness has gone. My legs and arms are amazing.

    I hope my experience is of help to you. The pain has need worth it. If you want to talk, you can email

    Good luck.

    Moderator comment: I have removed the email address as we do not publish these in the forums. If users wish to exchange contact details please use the Private Message service.

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  • Posted

    Greetings,

    On March 1st 2018 I had Ulnar nerve decompression surgery in my left elbow.

    I sought medical attention only 2 days after first coming down with the symptoms which were numbness in my pinky half my ring finger in a portion of my Palm.

    After receiving a percision placed cortisone shot and wearing a brace that kept my elbow relatively straight failed to relieve any symptoms I was undergoing an EMG test and this next part is important.

    I was not surprised to hear I had severe compression at the elbow but what I did not expect was after the test and on my way home I started to regain sensation in my fingers and palm and within an hour or two later 100% sensation had returned to my hand it was like a miracle.

    Unfortunately by the next morning my fingers were numb again.

    My orthopedic surgeon told me that although it's rare the electrical current used to perform the EMG may have stimulated the ulnar nerve beyond the compression, at least temporarily but ultimately was not going to be a long-term solution until the nerve was decompressed.

    The fact the nerve actually worked when stimulated and the short length of time I went before getting medical attention gave me high hopes of instant recovery after surgery unfortunately that wasn't the case.

    When I woke up my fingers were still numb and as time went on seem to increase in intensity not decrease.

    10 days after surgery when the stitches were being removed my doctor told me it was way too early to be concerned about post Surgical success and that nerves takes a long time to heal.

    And although it was in my favor that I got medical attention immediately the level of compression to the ulnar nerve with severe and it could take 3 to 6 months or even longer before the nerve will heal itself and the symptoms subside.

    My ulnar nerve compression was the result of continual leaning on the elbow for hours and hours at a time day after day as I worked on the computer.

    But having remembered the effect from the EMG I started doing research on electrotherapy on the ulnar nerve post decompression surgery.

    From what I've learned so far Electro stimulation of the ulnar nerve after surgery resulted in a faster recovery and healing of the nerve and symptom reduction than those who did not receive the stimulation.

    This therapy may seem too aggressive for some people and certainly doctors will warn you of the risk involved which can if not done properly result in permanent nerve damage.

    But it's no more riskier than the decompression surgery itself.

    Obviously only having been 2 weeks and 4 days since my surgery I'm not going to run out and find someone to stimulate my nerve but after several months if the symptoms have not improved I may pursue it.

    Going through the rest of my life with two fingers and a portion of my palm completely numb is not an option.

    It would bring an end to my guitar playing and other activities that involve the use and coordination of my hand and fingers.

    If you don't mind I have a couple of questions for you

    1. how did your injury occur

    2. how long did you have the symptoms before seeing a doctor

    3. what is your orthopedic surgeon telling you at this point in terms of the surgical outcome.

    I'm just wondering at what point would a doctor suggest having another EMG done to see if there is still compression in the area.

    I hope my story helps in some small way just don't give up and stay proactive after all we are the ones they have to live with this.

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    • Posted

      1. how did your injury occur - Playing water volleyball

      2. how long did you have the symptoms before seeing a doctor - I saw my PCM within several weeks of the injury. I went through months of physical therapy and occupational therapy with no relief. I had ulnar nerve surgery on my right elbow on October 16, 2017. I still have numbness in my right hand pinky and ring fingers and my palm.

      3. what is your orthopedic surgeon telling you at this point in terms of the surgical outcome. He said my surgery successfully removed a benign neuroma in my right elbow. He also said it may take 3-4 months to notice any improvement. My physical therapist said it would take as long to heal as the amount of time from injury to surgery (15 months in my case).

      My surgeon did not mention having another EMG. From my web research I found that a second decompression surgery is not likely to be successful. Guess we'll have to live with the numbness.  BTW I am 73 years old. I have a TENS device at home - that does not help. 

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    • Posted

      Maybe we should talk. Please send me an email with your phone number.

      Moderator comment: I have removed the email address as we do not publish these in the forums. If users wish to exchange contact details please use the Private Message service.

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    • Posted

      1. how did your injury occur. Answer - 1.5 years before ulnar nerve decompression surgery

      2. how long did you have the symptoms before seeing a doctor. Answer: within 2-3 days. Tried Gabapentin, physical therapy (including neck stretching), occupational therapy (including needling), MRI x-ray, ultrasound, and EMG (twice). Had another EMG one year after surgery - same ulnar nerve compression problem in the elbow.

      3. what is your orthopedic surgeon telling you at this point in terms of the surgical outcome. Answer - in 6 months try ulnar nerve hydrodissection at the elbow.

      I'm just wondering at what point would a doctor suggest having another EMG done to see if there is still compression in the area. Answer - see #3 above.

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  • Posted

    hi all hope you dont mind me joining in this conversation. i have been suffering with this ulnar nerve problems for over two years. i am finally having ulnar nerve decompression surgery on the 30th nov 2018, just a few questions i would like to ask, was it painful after the operation, also did any of you have the op with the nerve block and were you awake and if so how was it. feeling anxious.

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