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Can CTS cause twitching in fingers?

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Old 04-04-2002, 08:21 AM   #1
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Phantom_309 HB User
Question Can CTS cause twitching in fingers?

I am currently 28 years old and I had been diagnosed with CTS and Alnur (Ulnar?) tunnel syndrome five years ago in both hands/arms after an EKG (ouch!). My hands would fall asleep at night even if I lay on my back when I had my elbows bent. I do a lot of computer work because I am a draftsman and after work I love playing online racing games, I spend a lot of times on computers.

Anyway, I did a lot of adjusting my workarea and I pretty much alleviated the problem but occasionally after a hard days works I will feel some soreness and I sometimes have my hands fall asleep but nothing like it was when I was first diagnosed.

Lately I have noticed that my pinky starts to switch if I have it resting with the mouse in my hand. If I take my hand off the mouse it quits. It doesn't do it while I'm using the mouse either, only while resting on it in between use. Occasionally my index finger will twitch slightly also but that's rare and it's pretty much my pinky only. I have had some slight soreness lately also in that hand. I also notice when I get the twitch in my pinky that I feel a slight spasm in my forearm muscle. When my index finger does it, I feel a spasm in my hand between my thumb and index finger.

Can CTS cause this behavior? Could this be Parkinson's related? I went to the Parkinson's group first and asked and now I'm scared because I got two replies telling me that Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's symptoms first started with a twitch in his pinky.


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Old 08-19-2003, 05:47 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Bradenton, FL USA
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saloldgal HB User

Looks like it has been a while since your post, but just in case you or someone else checks...

I am 39 years old and have recently been having problems with my right index finger and middle finger (the one between my index finger and my ring finger) twitching while I am using my mouse. As you described, it only happens when my hand is resting idle on the mouse. It is especially annoying because whenever it happens, my finger hits a mouse button and I end up doing something I didn't mean to!

I am a software engineer, so as you can imagine, I use a mouse a lot too. Although I occasionally have mild symptioms of CTS, I don't think that is causing this problem.

In addition to the twitching in my hand, I have been noticing small twitches in my arms,legs and feet, and they always happen when the muscles involved are at rest. Also, there were several consecutive nights/mornings about 2 months ago when I was experiencing much more noticeable, shocklike jerks of varying severity. Sometimes my shoulder, arm or leg would extend suddenly, and a few times my whole body was involved and would pop right off he bed.

After I told my GP about these more severe incedents, he referred me to a nuerologist who ordered an EEG.

During the EEG I noticed I was having the same kind of mild twitching that I have when using my mouse, and now the neurologist tells me that the EEG shows abnormal electrical activity. I am pretty convinced that the EEG abnormalities are related to the twitching I was feeling during the EEG. I had an EEG 2 years ago (before the twitching started) and it was completely normal.

The neurologist has not determined what is going on yet with the abonormal EEG, but in general he seems to think that I am having epileptic seizures. Although I was referred to the neurologist because of the muscle jerks, he actually ordered the EEG because he believed, based on my lifelong medical and school history, that I might have an undiagnosed case of absence (petit mal) epilepsy.

Anyway, my point is that you might want to consider whether your history includes any evidence of epilepsy (most likely childhood absence/petit mal seizures that were mistaken for inattentiveness). If it does, maybe your finger twitch is related to that and could be controlled by anticonvulsant meds.

My neurologist has referred me to an epileptologist for further investigation of the EEG abnormalities. Once that is complete, I will post the findings here for anyone who is interested...

Old 08-20-2003, 03:11 PM   #3
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Phantom_309 HB User

Funny you mention epilepsy because I have had epilepsy (grand mal) since I was 27. I originally took no meds (stubborn) and had another GM 7 months later. I went on Dilantin 400mg and had another GM 10-1/2 months later. I was then switched from Dilantin to Depakote due to raised liver enzymes. I had two seizures in my sleep Aug. 11th 2002 (4-1/2 months later) and phenobarbitol was added to my meds. I haven't had a seizure since

I think the twitching might have been a reaction to weening off of Dilantin or just stress in general.

The finger twitching went away a couple weeks after my initial post. The seizures have also gone away (for now).

Thanks for your reply and best wishes.

Old 08-26-2003, 05:22 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Brisbane Queensland Australia
Posts: 2
tenderbod HB User

From my own personal experience it sounds like you have the beginnings of ulnar nerve damage in your arm. In laymans terms, the ulnar nerve starts in the neck and runs down underneath your elbow and then down the outside of your forearm. I've had my ulnar nerve repaired. It was badly damaged by resting my arm on the chair arm and desk doing fine graphic work on the computer. The surgery was successful, however the twitching is caused by the damaged nerves, I've been told by my hand specialist. The ulnar nerve supplies the pinkie. I also get thumb and index twitching from time to time which is related to the medial nerve usually compressed at the wrist i.e. CTS. I changed my mouse to a trackball so that a lot of pressure is taken off the fingers and thumb as my hand now glides over the mouse rather than constant clicking. Good luck!

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