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After an accident, experienced neck pain. ER whiplash. Palm and fingers numb. Ulnar neuropathy?

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Neurologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1997
Answered : 65 Questions
I was in a low speed rear-end collision, and was a passenger in the car that was hit. I immediately experienced neck pain (diagnosed at ER as whiplash). I also had tingling in my little finger and ring finger. Now three years later, tthose 2 fingers and the outer palm of my hand ahave been numb and painful for over 2 months. My family physician believes it is ulnar neuropathy and an EMG was done. The doctor conducting the EMG deemed the results inconclsive. I also had an MRI of my neck, showing nothing of significance. I am being referred to a neurologist. QUESTION: Could this be due to the accident?
I would Not have paid, had I known this would take 24 hrs.
I am involved in a lawsuit. An offer to settle that would net me "little to nothing" is on the table. I need decide by day end TODAY.

Can I please get a refund, since the information I receive will not arrive in time to be of any value?
Posted Wed, 23 May 2012 in Alzheimer's
Answered by Dr. Shivakumar S. Kupanur 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

Your symptoms might be due to nerve irritation of C6-C7 root. If the pain and numbness has started after accident and persistent since then, then we can co-relate the symptoms with accident. As you had 3 years of asymptomatic period, it is only a very rare possibility to be due to the accident.

It could also be due ulnar nerve irritation or delayed changes in spinal cord. An expert neurologist can conclude after clinical examination and review of investigations.

I hope, I have answered your query. I will be available for follow up queries if any.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: After an accident, experienced neck pain. ER whiplash. Palm and fingers numb. Ulnar neuropathy? 47 minutes later
Yes, I know and understand what you are saying--thank you.
Please note however, that as I awaited the ambulance, I complained to the officer investigating, that I was experiencing "tingling" in both my little and ring fingers. I informed the ER doctor that I had previously had slight tingling in my little finger, and that it had now spread to my ring finger. That has been present since the accident on an intermittent basis. Again, the tingling had never affected my ring finger prior to the accident. It really makes me wonder, as the numbness in both fingers as well as the outer palm of that hand occurred some 2 months ago, is acute and causes pain.
Answered by Dr. Shivakumar S. Kupanur 41 minutes later
Hi again.

Thanks for additional details.

It appears that your symptoms started only after the trauma and persisted intermittently. It can be related with your trauma and I am not completely ruling it out.

However other causes could also be excluded which I mentioned in previous post. You can still go ahead and be stern about the absence of symptoms prior to the accident and appearance and worsening of symptoms post accident while you consult the Neurologist.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: After an accident, experienced neck pain. ER whiplash. Palm and fingers numb. Ulnar neuropathy? 39 minutes later
Again...Thank You.
Unfortunately, today is my deadline to accept or reject the offer from the insurance company. Had I found this site earlier, I likely would have gone to trial. At this point, even though I have a strong feeling that this condition stems from the accident, my window of time for taking the chance of getting nothing for lack of ability to prove what I already know, stares me in the face as I write this.
Thanks so much. I will highly recommend this site, and use it again if need be.
For purpose of this inquiry, time is not my friend.
Best Regards.
Answered by Dr. Shivakumar S. Kupanur 13 hours later

I really appreciate your feedback. If you wish to take my assistance for any future health care decisions in basic medical science and neurology, please post through my profile page.


I will attend as soon as possible.

For now please close the discussion and rate my answer.
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