Originally Posted by Goldie-2011
Hello ~ am new to this site. Has anyone have their left index finger numb & tingly plus have tennis elbow in left arm? I had a cervical fusion C5-C7 and foraminotomy (2008) and left shoulder surgery (2010). Some of this is due to structural issues but also due to an overuse injury 4 years ago. I have had 2 cortizone injections this year into my left elbow that have worn off after a few weeks, and still have the finger numbness which is very annoying (there probably is residual from my neck), but I am still hopeful there is something they haven't found yet, perhaps in my elbow? I have had multiple EMGs, MRIs, CT scans, you name it... my last EMG in early 2010 finally said it was Abnormal and consistent with chronic changes persisting following a left C5 cervical radiculopathy. My left deltoid and bicepts muscles showed chronic motor unit changes.
I have done some research online and possibilities are: pronator teres syndrome, median nerve palsy, anterior interosseous syndrome, or posterior interosseous nerve compression syndrome.
Really wonder if it's a median nerve causing my problem (since everything is connected) or nerve compression in my elbow. Am going to the surgeon (to check out my left shoulder/elbow) again on Tuesday, so would be nice to have more info. if you have a similar experience. Thanks!
Goldie, sorry to be replying so late. If it were just the finger, I'd suggest it is carpal tunnel. However, since you also have problems in the elbow, it could be pressure on the nerve, either within the nerve sheath somewhere along its path from the neck down into the hand, or by nerve compression caused by the brachial plexus's covering muscles--the scalenes that lift the 1-2 ribs when you inhale, or by pectoralis minor (beneath your pec major), or, rarely, by the coraconbrachialis which attaches to the coracoid process of scapula and to the upper arm bone.
As for the nerve sheath, nerves are meant to glide freely within the sheath. Standing, if you lift your chin, extending your neck as high as you can and as far away from the affected arm as you can stretch it, and simultaneously extend the affected arm as far as you can, and move the hand into flexion and extension, if the nerve is impinged within the sheath, you may feel tingling/numbness in the elbow or down into the fingers.
With all the research you have done, you're familiar with the term TOS, I assume. The pronator teres is lower than the elbow, so is unlikely to be the cause. Likewise, the interrosseus. So, if it isin't a problem in the spine due to your surgeries, I think it likely stems from thoracic outlet syndrome.
Trigger points within the aforementioned TOS muscles can cause hypertonicity and compression of the brachial plexus nerves.
Cortisone injections into painful joints are common, have been for a time. But research I've read posits the theory that cortisone is actually harmful to the structures of joints, that it causes degeneration of tendons and bursa. Ask your doctors about this research: http://orthopedics.about.com/u/ua/in.../cortisone.htm
Ask whether you should give therapeutic massage a try before going under the knife again.