I have my appointment for an EMG. Workman's comp okay'd this (yay!). I'm just glad I don't have to pay for it. I wonder how much it would cost? Anyway, I go in the 22nd of December. I'm a little nervous about the pain, but then again, I was worried about the pain when I had a different surgery earlier this year and it was nothing! Anyway, I just thought I'd give a quick update. My problem is that my hands go numb at night and they tingle occassionally during the day. I work as a typist, and my hands get stiff and sore if we have a particularly busy day. My doctor and physical therapist are thinking it's cubital tunnel, but all the paperwork keeps saying carpal tunnel, so your guess is as good as mine. :-) I just want to know where the problem is and how bad it is. I want to be able to sleep in whatever position I want without worrying about my hands...any thoughts on how long it will take for it to go away? Will I have to quit my job?
Last edited by photonut1998; 11-29-2005 at 08:08 PM.
I doubt you'd have to quit your job. I had ulnar nerve problems (moderate damage) and mild carpal tunnel-and the ulnar damage was so painful that simple things like loading the dishwasher was enough to bring me to tears. Could be partially due to I was not given any pain relief whatsoever for years as well.
The EMG isn't what I'd call fun...but it will tell them where and how bad the nerves are. Then they can tell you if you just need to wear splints or if you will need surgery.
How you sleep *can* help though....curling your hands does make it worse. I've had problems with my arms since 98...and I've had surgery only on my ulnar nerves due to they were the worst of the pain. I also had carpal tunnel in both arms. Since then I made sure to have my hands flat on the bed or the pillow when I sleep (cause I'm a stomach sleeper) and I don't have carpal tunnel at all in my right arm anymore...and that is my dominant arm!).
I feel your pain! I'm also a typist, have cubital tunnel in both arms and minor carpal tunnel in the right hand. To make matters worse for a while, I had Dequervains Syndrome in my right hand, but thankfully a cortisone shot helped that completely.
I've opted NOT to have surgery for the time being and my doctor concurred. I also suffer a lot when I have heavy days of typing but my main complaint is the numb hands during my sleep. Drives me insane. My doctor gave me a few months worth of a sleeping aid for a while, because I was up all night to readjust myself. When you say that your hands are numb, which fingers? Cubital Tunnel affects the pinky and 1/2 of the ring finger, carpal tunnel I believe is the index finger and thumb?
I had 2 EMG's done in the past year - because apparently the person administering the first one didn't do a complete test. Wasn't fun but there are worse tests others deal with so I got through it ok for the most part. Be glad you're not paying - my insurance picked it up also, but if I remember, it was certainly well over $1000.
Currently, I do nothing to help it and am not really under any doctor's care since the only thing they could offer me was surgery. I've found some low-tech ways to help it - taking the arms off my chair at work has helped a lot because I had a terrible habit of leaning my elbows on them frequently, which of course, it terrible for the CT.
Anyway, good luck w/your problem - keep us updated!
"I've opted NOT to have surgery for the time being and my doctor concurred. I also suffer a lot when I have heavy days of typing but my main complaint is the numb hands during my sleep. Drives me insane. My doctor gave me a few months worth of a sleeping aid for a while, because I was up all night to readjust myself. When you say that your hands are numb, which fingers? Cubital Tunnel affects the pinky and 1/2 of the ring finger, carpal tunnel I believe is the index finger and thumb?"
I don't know about cubital tunnel-
My ulnar nerve is the problem-in my elbow-which also affects the pinky and ring finger. I guess same nerve-but compressed in a different place.
My carpal tunnel doesn't bother me at all-and I used to have it in both arms-I had it in both arms way back-had the ulnar nerves released-just had another emg done and the carpal tunnel was gone from my right arm. I will have to have the ulnar nerves fixed again-but I'm going to leave the carpal tunnel alone in my other hand and hope it will also go away.
The outside of my hand goes numb at night - usually my pinky, ring finger, and part of my middle finger and the outside half of my palm. A few times my thumb and index fingers were numb, sometimes my entire hand(s) were numb, and 2-3 times my entire ARM was numb, clear up to my shoulder. Right now, my pinky on my right hand is ever so slightly numb all the time, it's like just the skin over my pinky is numb just a little bit - all the time. Those of you who've had an EMG, were you able to go right back to work afterwards, or did you take the day off? I'm debating over taking the day off work. Also, how far up do the do the EMG? I'm so nervous...