Burning pain to arm pits, tingling and numbness to my 4th/pinky finger

by Julieta Rigo
(Las Vegas, NV)

Why am I still having all the symptoms even after I had a ACDF on my C5C6, had a brachial plexus decompression to my rt side and just recently had a Ulnar nerve decompression? It is so frustrating because I have the symptoms in both my arms.

As I said in my previous post, Julieta, the ring finger and pinkie do not pertain to the C5-C6 level.

Dr B

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Jan 24, 2017
Home cervical traction
by: Julieta

Thank you so much Dr B,

About the home traction; are you talking about cervical traction?

I do some exercises at home with very minimum weights, so I can get my arm muscles to work again and get a better circulation; it helps a little with the nerve pains in my armpits and arms.

I purchased a light brace for both elbows which I use at night so not to bend my arms while I am in bed. Bending my arms makes my fingers more numbed. Thank you for your advice; I learned more from you.

Yes, indeed, a home cervical traction unit; get the kind done lying down; they're not terribly expensive.

It's interesting that bending your arms increases the numbness; that suggests that is has in part to the ulnar nerve, and possibly the surgery you had there behind the elbow if I remember correctly. Ask the surgeon.

Dr B

Jan 17, 2017
Continued symptoms after four surgeries
by: julieta

Hi it's me again, Julieta.

As I mentioned before, I had a total of 4 surgeries. C5-C6 ACDF, brachial plexus surgery, rt ulnar nerve transposition and the last one was the carpal tunnel release.

With all these surgeries I had, still I continuously have the burning pain to bilateral arm pits and goes down to my muscles and to my fingers which I have tingling and numbness. Since I injured my self at work, and not gotten better the doctors said that they can not do anything anymore that I might just live with it.

So now, I have to go for a vocational rehab so I can go back to work. My regrets on all these things that happened, that no one can answer me on what was the cause of this that even all the surgeries they have done, I still have the same problem. And these doctors think, that I am making it up.

I wish that someday they we feel these pains I am experiencing now. I learned more on your site and you gave me more explanation then those doctors who just want to butcher you, and they think that after they did the surgery that all is well. Thank you for creating this site. May be my next move is to find a good chiropractor and accupuncture treatment.

Hello Julieta,
If I remember correctly, the pain and tingling was in the pinkie and ring finger; if that's the case at least two of the surgeries were completely incomprehensible. C5-C6 does not supply the C8 dermatome, the problem is lower in your neck, and the carpal tunnel just madness; it has to do with the median nerve on the other side of the hand.

And alas, when things go wrong, doctors tend to blame the patient; truth be known, sometimes patients do dumb things and are to blame; but not in your case, I suspect; but of course I don't know many of the little details, so even that's speculative. Don't accept that guilt they're trying to load on you.

And I don't like that term you use, "I injured myself at work", unless you did something totally dumb. Work place injuries happen every day and much of time are because of something wrong in the workplace, not with the worker.

It's going to take a lot of wisdom on your part now; they may be right and you are going to have to learn to live with it. Any further treatment, including chiropractic, may just aggravate the problem further.

What I would consider is daily home traction, lying down, a weekly sports massage, and yes, perhaps acupuncture; none of those will make you worse; they might not help, but they won't aggravate things further.

It'll take a brave chiropractor to delve into your neck after all this bungling! Perhaps there's one waiting for you, but go first just for an examination with no treatment, and follow your gut feel. Was he really thorough? Did he go through your history in detail; has he looked at all scans and read the reports. No more shoddy treatment on your neck!

Keep in touch.

Dr B

Oct 29, 2016
Ulnar nerve decompression
by: Julieta

Hi, it's me again.

I had therapy after my transposition of the ulnar nerve. I noticed that after this surgery, I continuously have pain to the tip of my right shoulder and down to my upper arm muscles and at same time, the numbness and pain to my 4th and pinky fingers is still there.

It is so frustrating since I also have the same numbness to my left 4th and pinky fingers. I have gone through 4 surgeries now and it seems that I am going nowhere. Are these results of my neck injury and having a discectomy and fusion make it worse? Just so frustrated now.


Hello Julieta,
It's impossible for me to tell without examining you, but the fact this is also affecting your left C8 dermatome definitely points to something central rather than an ulnar nerve lesion in your arm.

It's all related to the original injury, and possible worsened by the surgery; very hard to tell. Your medical doctor is the one with the best overall picture; I'd stick close to him or her rather.

Dr B

Jul 26, 2016
Ulnar decompression with transposition
by: Julieta

Hi it's me again, started physical therapy , slowly I am gaining strength on my arm. I noticed that the burning on my right arm is lessened but the numbness to my 4th/pinky finger still there. Therapist stated usually it takes at least 3-6mos for the nerves to behave, I just hope this is my last surgery , and if nothing works, I will go see a chiropractor as you advised. Thanks.

Hello Julia,
You've had a miserable time of this. After an ulnar decompression you can certainly expect symptoms to continue for several months.

Has anyone checked the wrist pulse with movements of your head and neck, and taking in a deep breath? It's called Adson's test.

It's a purely hypthetical question, and won't help you, but perhaps our other readers, would you go through all this again, knowing what you now have experienced?

I have a nagging feeling that the real site of the problem hasn't been located, and that's why all the surgery hasn't helped.

I would certainly only consult a very experienced chiropractor, and especially one with further studies in neurology. You may find they decline to treat you; there are risks involved after all the surgery.

Keep in touch.

Dr B

Jun 09, 2016
Scalene triangle
by: Anonymous

I did have a surgery to rt brachial plexus where in the MD did a release prior to this ulnar nerve release with transposition of my muscle. I just hope this will work , as I have said the Md told me that it will take at least 3 mos to heal. Thank you so much for the info.

Pleasure Julieta, hope it comes right; if not see a chiropractor about the C7 area in a few months.

Dr B

Jun 04, 2016
Numbness to rt ring ang pinkie finger
by: Julieta

Yes, I just had surgery on my rt elbow to release the ulnar nerve . Hopefully , after 3 months of recuperation I will be free of symptoms including the numbness of my ring and pinkie finger.

Hello Julieta,
We hope so. But if the real source of the problem is at C7-T1, or in the interscalene triangle where the lowermost trunk lies on the first rib supplying also the ring finger and pinkie, then it may not get better.

Wait a month or two in hope, and then think again about these two entrapment sites for the nerve supplying those fingers if it doesn't improve.

Let me know, blessings, hope it works out.

Dr B

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And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

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