Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ


I have some numbness and tingling in my ring finger and in my pinkie finger on the left hand. There's no pain but sometimes I can't straighten those two fingers. I went on-line and looked up carpal tunnel syndrome thinking that might be what I have -- but my symptoms don't match what it says for that. What else could be causing this problem?


You'll need to see a medical doctor to get a proper diagnosis -- and that's what we would encourage you to do. The first thought whenever a patient presents with numbness and tingling is that there's a nerve entrapment somewhere above the level of the symptoms. Since it's your fingers that are affected, it's possible that the ulnar nerve (not the median nervecubital tunnel syndrome. Problems in the cervical spine (neck) have also been known to cause sensory symptoms such as you are describing. The physician will take your history and conduct an exam with specific tests to identify what's happening to cause these symptoms and find out what's behind the problem. Something as simple as a muscle contracting and pressing around the nerve could be the underlying anatomical reason for the nerve compression. But certain diseases such as diabetes, thyroid disease, hemophilia, and tumors anywhere along the nerve pathway can also cause nerve compression. That's why it's important to make an appointment and have everything checked out carefully before deciding to ignore it. Bradley A. Palmer, MD, and Thomas B. Hughes, MD. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. January 2010. Vol. 35A. No. 1. Pp. 153-163.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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