Hello! I am female, age 50 and had this muscle wasting going on for 20 years prior to my ulnar nerve surgery on November 4th - about 3 weeks ago. The wasting is in the right hand between the thumb and first finger. There is a "caved in" area where this muscle used to be. My ring & last fingers had numbness and weakness also. I never had much pain at all, and was just getting worried because the weakness was getting worse. That's why I finally had the surgery.
If you will look at my reply to Anita in the thread right below this one you can see where I am in my progress of recovery.
I too have a lot of muscle wasting...however...the doctor tells me it may take maybe 3 years, but my muscles in the hand should come back. (However I have read on the internet that people say the muscle will NOT come back. However...I am going to choose to trust my doctor on this).
I do not know of a specialist. I can tell you I am in a small Appalachian Town in the US, in Virginia, and was treated by a local orthopedic surgeon. Of course, here, you will have to pay dearly for your treatment. I had my surgery performed in the hospital - I was in there at 7 a.m. and out of there by maybe 10:00 and the bill was $11,000for 3 hours! ....Just for the hospital part - not including the surgery (I have no idea on that, maybe $20,000??? I have not received a bill)...and anesthesthia - I do not remember how much that one was. Of course, here most people carry insurance, but there are balances to be paid after insurance....for you - coming from Europe where there is free health care - to here - it may be a bit of a shock at the expenses we pay here....many people go without treatment because they cannot afford it...but I know that's off the topic.
If you want a specialist, maybe a hand specialist would be the place to look...I could offer you the name of my doctor, however - I'm in a small town and the bigger cities and teaching hospitals would be the places to look for specialists.
I'm in the "hoping" phase...I hope my surgery will bring back my muscle. I would not want to refer you to somewhere without knowing my result, and I don't know it yet. At least, I know the muscle loss will not get any worse, and this alone makes me happy.
Let me know if you would like to ask me anything else!
just a quick question or two for you. have you ever actually had a c spine MRI done just to see if there is some level of real spinal problem underlying in all this? have they ever done what is called an EMG/NCV on you to just see how far up the problem goes and to look for where the actual impairment begins? the EMG also checks out nerve flow velocity too so it would show if this nerve did just have 'some' flow velocity or none at all? something is impacting your fine motor muscle there that just needs to be tracked back to where the underlying problem actually is that is creating it to begin with.
the one huge thing you really need to know is about how the c spine nerves are that actually give both sensory and fine motor function to our hands? up in the c spine,unlike the other spinal nerves we have beyond that c spine level or the nerves that make up what is called the 'brachial plexus'? these are ALL the nerves that actually just go down to and actually innervate both the f motor and the sensory, and it also includes that very first T spine nerve too? these particular nerves have ALOT of 'play' or crossover fibers in them only becasue the spinal nerves up there have BOTH sensory AND fine motor components all within the same nerve. the rest of the spinal has seperate spinal nerves for this but the c spine is very different.
what this could possibly mean for your situation here is that despite the fact that the ulnars sensory components are directly from that C8/ulnar nerve, the fine motor function of that ulnar can be also stemming from a totally different c spine level nerve. do you get what i am saying here? like i mentioned already,the nerves up there just have a ton of play and crossover depending upon what has the governing fine motor function for what i am assuming are the problems that are showing up in those last two fingers right now among the atrophy too? this really is why you just do need that good look into the c spine area with preferable a contradsted MRI. just to see what could be impacting that ulnar and any other areas of innervation too.
unless they have found the actual level of true impact,this really would possibly help to track this back to the area of impact. that EMG too done allthe way up to the c spine would really really help to try and narrow this down really well.
believe me, i do know whatit is like to lose fine motor. i lost 8 fine motor muscles from having to have a spinal cord surgery that hit the whole brachial 'bundle' right IN the actual spinal cord. fortunetly for me it was thankfully all in my non dominant hand. but there are alot of things i just simply cannot do like even 'pinch' things? or anytime both hands have to work togehter to perform any real task, it can get pretty ugly there for me.
but just make certain that they find out excactly where that area of real impact actually is. some damage, depending upon just what the actual underlying cause is, can be rehabbed back with PT and time. but it all of course depends upon just what created the problem originally. it is not rocket science here for any knowledgable neuro to simply track back a nerve flow issue to its true source of being impacted. you should be able to find out everything you need to really know by one contrasted MRI and most definitely the EMG/NCV. hopefully you can gwet these tests done soon? please let us know how things go. marcia
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.