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pinky and ring finger left arm numbness after Cervical Laminoplasty

Butterflye18BButterflye18 Posts: 20
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I am 8 mo post-op cervical laminoplasty and now I have numbness on my pinky and ring finger every night all the way up to my shoulders on both sides but mostly left. Any one else out there that has this problem? Initially my NS wanted to do ACDF and laminoplasty because my damaged levels are from C3-C7 but he only did Laminoplasty...anyone out there with this issue?


  • Howdy Butterflye18,

    I've had two ACDF's a little over a year apart - C5/6 then C6/7. About five months after the last fusion, I re-lost my ring and pinkie fingers on my right hand, and too the numbness up to my shoulder. I found out the C7/8 is now screwed and causing it!

    I say 're-lost' because a few years ago I lost feeling and most use of my right hand, but that was due to my Ulnar nerve being trapped in my elbow, wrist and hand. I had surgery for it, and within about 6 months recovered most of my hand function back.

    I just had a nerve conduction study done, and a small amount of my present loss is in the wrist, the rest from my neck.

    Okay....with all that said. Have you seen a spine specialist to see if you have another level with issues now? The Ulnar is the C8 nerve unfortunately. I hope you can find out what is going on. Please let us know. Gentle support *HUG* to ya!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi Brenda,

    Just talked to NS and he said that I shld call my regular MD and have them check my ulnar nerve because he is an NS and they don't do that type of stuff?? He said a plastic surgeon does that type of surgery?? and then he said if it is not the ulnar nerve then I need to get a myelogram which he said is extremely painful.

    Uhhm I have had several spinal injections for back pain dude (I'm thinking when he said that)he always tries to scare me ...as if. He did the same thing in '07 when I should have had the Laminoplasty and he said that I was to young (42 at that time)and that the surgery was extremely painful and hat I shld wait to see if things would get worse...well guess what last year 2010 it was so bad that he said that I could get paralyzed if I didn't do the surgery immediately.

    Let's just hope it's nothing(|:

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  • I can understand at this point going to your primary. Your primary can then examine you. As for who does the surgery if the nerve is trapped in your brachial plexus, elbow or hand are normally Orthopedic surgeons trained in neurology, or neurosurgeon's that specialize their neurology for issues away from the brain and spine. I wouldn't let a plastic surgeon near my nerves!

    My neurosurgeon only deals with spine surgery, his partner brain issues. The nervous system is vast, and too many surgeons specialize in various areas of the vast system.

    When my Ulnar was trapped, I also had radicular issues from the neck. Basically my NS dealt with my C5/6 issues, and my Orthopedic surgeon worked with my elbow and hand.

    To determine what was going on with my Ulnar, my Orthopedic surgeon had me get an MRI of my cervical spine and my elbow. He then had me get an NVC/EMG for my right arm. That along with an extensive exam. His tests I then took to my NS, and he took care of my neck, and 3 weeks later I had the surgery on my elbow, wrist and hand. :)

    I don't understand why he would have you go through a myelogram??? Wow...If you lived in South Florida, I'd hook you up with my Orthopedic surgeon. :) Plastic surgeon, still shaking my head.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Yeah. I think he meant Orthopedic surgeon. I don't get the myelogram either.
  • I hope that you are able to get answers to what is going on soon. As for elbow, what I've noticed over the years is the majority of entrapments occur in your weak arm. I am left handed, and my right elbow was the one entrapped. A former co-worker, also left handed, she too had the right elbow. Another friend, right handed, left elbow.

    I'm figuring it's because we tend to lean on our 'weak' arm for support as we do tasks with our dominate arm/hand?

    Same for my spine issues - most disk issues affect me on the right side. The L5/S1 is the only area bilateral. Weird.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • I'm right handed-my pain (C-spine related), shoulder, muscles, numbness, tingles, etc., are almost all on the left side, so there may be something to that.

    The Plastic Surgeon remark almost sounds like an insult to me (to another type of Dr. perhaps?). Just sayin'.
  • My MRI did not show that my left side had more issues, but all my symptoms were on my left side and I am also right-handed.

    Brenda, I definitely lean on my left elbow on the table when I am on the computer to alleviate discomfort and pain on the same side. Very perceptive! ;)
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches

  • As I read your comments, guess what?

    Yes, I am leaning on my left arm. (I am right handed!)

    Mind you, my symptoms are bilateral!

  • All,

    I really do think there is something to our weak side being more vulnerable, and therefore where a lot of our issues arise.

    I'm on another site for Cubital Tunnel (entrapment in the elbow), and a good 95% are having issues in their 'weak' elbow. There's got to be something to it. :) Spine wise, I am guessing there is due to our favoring our weak side posture wise as well.

    The bilateral "lucky ones" (yeah..) are those on the cord or stenosis. Take those out, and which side got fubar'd by the herniation of the disk? Could make an interesting study if you ask me! (G)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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