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Had ruptured disc. Having numbness in upper thigh and pricklyness in fingers. What nerves affect by herniation on C-5?

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Pain Medicine & Palliative Care Specialist
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Thank you. A friend had a ruptured disc, C5. She still has numbness in her upper thigh, prickly-ness in her fingers, and now, 6 weeks after surgery, a great deal of pain. What nerves 'operating' parts of her body would be affected by herniation on C-5?
Posted Wed, 16 Oct 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 59 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Upper arms, hands and possibly shoulders.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for using Healthcare Magic.
Herniation at C5-C6 is one of the most common levels to herniate. It affects the C6 nerve root.
There may be weakness in the biceps (muscles in the front of the upper arms) and wrist extensor muscles. Numbness and tingling along with pain can radiate to the thumb side of the hand. This may occur on one or both sides.
The numbness in her thigh will not be related to this problem as nerves to this part of the body would not be damaged by a cervical disc herniation.
If the herniation was at the C4-C5 level, this affects the C5 nerve root and may cause weakness of the deltoid muscle in the upper arm and may cause shoulder pain. Numbness and tingling does not usually occur.
These are typical symptoms. Not all people's anatomy is the same so there may be some variation between individuals.
I hope this has answered your question. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Dr K A Pottinger,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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