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Can Cervical issues cause ulnar nerve damage?

SukhreSSukhre San Diego, CAPosts: 181
I have cervical stonosis & its severe. It came with some nerve damage (root nerve)

Recently i have been diagnosed with ulnar nerve conduction issues. I have a lot of pain on the elbow joint. and it caused my palm leading to ring finger area to be numb. I am not sure whether I should do surgery to stop the damage.

Or the ulnar nerve issue is separate? Is it because my cervical spams are squeezing the ulnar nerve?

MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,837
    only your doctors can medically answer for you
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • SukhreSSukhre San Diego, CAPosts: 181
    I am trying to see if its common to have cervical patients to have ulnar nerve issues. I have heard two different versions from doctors.
    MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    I am having the same issues right now. I've had 2 neck fusion surgeries & 2 months ago, I had rotator cuff surgery. My neck has never gotten any better since the surgeries, but after my shoulder surgery, my nerve pain has been horrible. Especially in my elbow. I had an EMG a couple months ago & my neck doctor told me everything was good. My therapist thought my sling that I had to wear after shoulder surgery was irritating my ulnar nerve. We made modifications to the sling & I've been out of it for a couple weeks now & it's still bad.
    I went back to my neck doctor & he wasn't concerned. Then he said that according to EMG results, my ulnar nerve is damaged? I asked him if it was related to my neck issues & he said no? But doing some research, I've found that it can be related?
    I have an appointment with the doctor who did my rotator cuff surgery to talk to him about it. I've never had issues with my elbow before?
  • Dennis LDDennis L Posts: 5
    edited 08/16/2015 - 8:33 AM
    I had cervical posterior Disectomy on my C7 and T1. I am know 10 weeks post open and all my symptoms I had before is still here. My Doctor now says that maybe my alter nerve is pinched so he is sending me for a EMG on 9/3/2015. I have the following symptoms . Excruciating pain in my forarm little and ring finger. Along with that it burns all the time. My little and ring finger are now curled in and do not come up straight with my other fingers.

  • Both my ulnar nerve and ulnaris muscle were on fire during the later stages of my cervical injury and about 8 weeks post surgery. It was by far the most most debilitating part because the use of my hand was affected. The only relief came from controlled pain medicines.

    I nearly insisted on ulnar nerve surgery to go along with the ACDF but my surgeon advised me not to do that, he said it would clear up on its own. He turned out to be right.



  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    How long after your ACDF did it take for your ulnar nerve to feel better? My last neck surgery was over a year ago? It never bothered me until I had this rotator cuff surgery.
  • A little over 8 weeks post ACDF surgery. It flared again after the labrum repair and lasted about three weeks.

    Clarification regarding shoulder surgery - the ulnar nerve and ulnaris muscle flared around that 6th week post shoulder surgery and then lasted about three weeks after that.


  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    I am in my 11th week post op from rotator cuff surgery.
    My neck surgeon brushed off my concerns so my therapist working on my shoulder suggested that I visit my shoulder doctor. I have an appointment with him in about 2 weeks.
  • So you're only two weeks longer than I am so far so maybe it'll still heal on its own. Massaging that area used to help a lot, the therapist started at that place before each session. My pain did go away in both cases, it's gone now. It went away after the ACDF and again it went away roughly three weeks after removing the shoulder sling. That Ulnaris muscle is small, if it hasn't been used in awhile it can hurt.

    Here's to hoping yours goes away on its own!
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    I'm hoping so!
    From what I've read & been told by the therapists, it's not good to keep your elbow bent & I had mine bent in a sling for 2 months. I've been out of the sling for a couple weeks now, so hopefully things will go back to normal.
    I am now being conscious of not keeping my elbow bent for any length of time & I try not to rest my elbow on arm rests & such. It's actually too painful to rest it on anything.
  • I have had 2 ACDF ( 1st 2009 ( C 5-6) and 2nd 3/5/2015(C 6-7)), and I am 5 months posted op from my second ACDF of the C 6-7. I have been in immeasurable amount of pain before and after this recent surgery only to have my surgeon say, if the pain persists we can go back inside for another surgery!
    I am in pain management treating with median branch block injections, epidural injections and narcotics to manage my pain. We did an EMG & NCV with findings of chronic right C 6-7 radiculopathy, median neuropathy at the wrist affecting the myelin of the right sensory nerve consistent with mild right carpal tunnel syndrome, and ulnar neuropathy affecting the myelin of the bilateral sensory nerves. When I ask is this a result of my neck issues no one can quite say, but in my opinion I never suffered from any hand pain other than leading from my neck down my arms into my hands. All I can say is that I do not want more surgery, so I am opting for less evasive procedures in hopes of reducing my pain. I am scheduled for another median branch block this Monday and then we are moving froward with RFA.
    Please continue to share your result of this journey and I pray you find relief !
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    edited 08/21/2015 - 2:04 AM
    Sorry to hear you are having the same issues. You said your doctor mentioned he could do more surgery? What kind of surgery? I am hearing of more people having these issues, and it sure sounds like they can be connected to our neck problems?
    I have an appointment with my pain doctor on Monday. I'll be discussing this with him. I also am seeing my shoulder doctor soon, and will be talking it over with him, too. I will let you all know what I find out.
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    I thought I'd update since I saw my orthopedic doctor today. He also said he doubted this issue had anything to do with my neck injury & surgeries. I told him it didn't really start bothering me until I had to wear that sling on my arm after my rotator cuff surgery this past June.
    He gave me a brace to wear at night. It keeps your arm from bending. Said a bent arm is bad on the ulnar nerve. He also gave me a script for a pain patch of some sort to wear. It will come in the mail. I can't remember what the patch was called?
    He explained to me that if it doesn't get any better, that I will need surgery. If I let it go, he said I could loose the function of my arm & hand. I certainly don't want that to happen, but I am definitely not thrilled about maybe needing another surgery.
    I am still puzzled as to how I injured this? I don't recall ever injuring my elbow? All seems like a big coincedence that my symptoms started after my neck surgeries & intensified after shoulder surgery?
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