pain in both elbows and tingling in my hands

by Tammy
(Meridian, ID)


In August of 2016 I had a cervical fusion and laminectomy on C5-7 due to severe OA. All seemed well until spring of this year.

Both elbows became very painful to move and I started to have numbness and tingling in most fingers on both hands. I went to the doctor who said it was tennis elbow, but would take an xray of my neck to check on the hardware because I was due for my 1 year follow up. All looked fine, except my plate had slightly shifted which did not concern my doctor.

My elbow pain is slightly better, but I still am experiencing pain and tingling in hands/fingers. I also am experiencing pain in both forearms, armpits, and sides of upper arms. Also, I have skin sensitivity over the tops of both elbows. Please help!

Thank you for taking my question.

Hello Tammy
So you had relief of symptoms for about six months; are these pains in your elbows and hands quite different to before the surgery?

Do movements of your neck provoke neck pain, or tingling in your fingers?

In tennis elbow, there's not usually tingling in the fingers; it's characterised by elbow pain on lifting heavy pots, shaking hands, in particular active extension of the wrist? It's rather unusual to have it bilaterally suddenly like this. However, since I can't examine you, I can't possibly say your doctor is wrong. In general, if you have confidence in your doctor, it's far better to follow his instructions than some unknown on the web!

Frankly, I don't know, but since this has been going on for some months, I'd be inclined to consult the surgeon again for an opinion and in particular to rule out cervical spinal stenosis.

Dr B.

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