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  1. #1
    Registered User HandyManCan's Avatar
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    HELP! Atrophy after surgery:Ulnar cubital tunnel decompression.

    Sometime early this year, as I stood up after working for several hours at my desk, I realized that the pinkie and ring fingers (but especially the pinkie) on my left hand (I am right handed) were clawed and felt somewhat numb. Except for some mild discomfort/numbness on the tip of my thumb and index fingers (and only occasionally on my pinkie) during the previous months, I had basically not experienced any other symptoms in my left hand. After performing a nerve conduction study and a clinical needle study, a neurologist determined that the ulnar nerve in my left arm was compressed inside the cubital tunnel, and he seemed to disbelieve my story of the time frame and symptoms up to the clawing of my fingers (apparently because of the condition of my hand). The neurologist basically told me that I needed surgery but that my expectations for recovering the full use of my left hand should be limited and, in fact, I might have no recovery at all. He then referred me to a surgeon who performed a decompression of the cubital tunnel (but no transposition of the ulnar nerve). The surgeon expressed considerably more optimism than the neurologist. Prior to the surgery, the surgeon approximated that I had a 60% chance of a recovery of full use of my left hand, but that any recovery was likely to take at least 8 or 9 months. After the surgery the surgeon informed me that the damage to the ulnar nerve was less than he expected. I believe that the surgery resulted in an almost immediate lessening of the discomfort that I felt. However, 4 or 5 weeks after the surgery I had not noticed any significant lessening of the numbness in my hand or any improvement in the use of my hand. While I suspect that the lack of improvement at that point was to be expected, I noticed that the muscles in between my index finger and the thumb had appeared to have shrunk or atrophied significantly. I returned to the surgeon last week to have him address my concerns, but he basically told me that there was nothing I could do. He told me to be patient, and that I might not have any significant recovery at all. In addition, the surgeon basically provided no guidance as to my inquiries about the benefits of exercise, therapy, braces, gloves, etc. So, of course, I am concerned as to what to do and how, if possible at all, to stop or reverse the atrophy, in addition to regaining the normal use of my hand. Is it possible that that my ulnar nerve remains compressed and damaged in the Guyan canal of my left hand? I would appreciate any insight anyone can give me, whether as to what I might do or as to the type of professional I should go to for additional help.
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  2. #2
    Registered User HandyManCan's Avatar
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    Anybody?
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  3. #3
    Registered User jessefaulk500's Avatar
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    Would be interested in knowing what happened. I recently had the cubital tunnel surgery and experiencing same things. Thanks in advance
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