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Have numbness in fingers, tingling in hands, knee weakness causing to wobble. What might be the cause?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 1649 Questions
My symptoms include numbness in L. thumb, now L. index finger, tingles in both hands upon wake up in the morning, discomfort in raising left arm, weakness in the knees, causing me to "wobble", sudden events where I feel needles all over my body (such as when I make a sudden movement or sit down v. fast).
I have been seen by a PA, reviewed my situation with online Nurses & UHC my physician bro-in-law with a neurologist. I cannot get an appointment much before mid September with any neurologist. So, does that indicate that this is not a progressive situation or possibly permanent (esp the thumb)I need to worry about? Time is not an issue based on these symptoms?
Posted Sun, 18 Aug 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Lohit K 1 hour later

Thank you for the query.

1. Your history of numbness in L. thumb & index finger, tingles in both hands, needles all over my body, discomfort in raising left arm, weakness in the knees suggest involvement of nerve and spinal cord.

2. This may be due to pressure on the spinal cord or due to vitamin deficiency. So if not treated this may be progressive. Once we remove the pressure on nerve or spinal cord or replenish the deficient vitamin the problem will be solved. So this is not permanent, but need to treat in early stages.

3. I would suggest that you get a Nerve conduction test and an CT scan of cervical spine which can help us to determine the cause. Also get done your blood sugar level once. Your physician can help you with these test.

4. You can try multivitamin and Pregabalin tablets for nerve protection/tingling and numbness.

5. If diabetic keep sugar levels under control. Have adequate regular sleep, plenty of fluids, nutritious diet with required calorie and regular outdoor exercises. Keep your weight under control.
Get back with the reports for more discussion on management. Hope I answered your question. Consult your doctor for further management.

Feel free to ask me if you have any further queries or doubts and I shall be glad to help you out. Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wish you good health. Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have numbness in fingers, tingling in hands, knee weakness causing to wobble. What might be the cause? 15 hours later
Based on what you described, i should be seen sooner than later.
Yet, I am told by 3 medical offices the soonest I can be seen is Late Sept to Mid October. Is this time frame acceptable?
Answered by Dr. Lohit K 42 minutes later

Any problem involving nervous system need to be evaluated early. We need to diagnose it and later if not severe we can wait for management.

Since your symptoms suggest involvement of nervous system this need to be diagnose early. Now you have tingling and numbness along with difficulty in raising left arm there may be some compression in the nerve and sudden onset of feeling needles all over body cant be explained involving single nerve. So we need to diagnose it and then depending on diagnosis we can wait.

So late sept to mid october is acceptable if the problem/compression does not progress faster. So keep watch on the problems, if increase in severity or frequency or any new symptom then need to be evaluated faster.

Hope I clarified your query. Wish you good health.
Kind Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have numbness in fingers, tingling in hands, knee weakness causing to wobble. What might be the cause? 24 hours later
Thank you very much Doctor. You have helped me relax a bit about this. Can you believe in this country after checking in 5 major cities it takes 6 weeks or more to see a Neurologist?
I am going to press a little harder in any event.

What can I do for myself in the meantime in the way of management? I tried swimming yesterday & could not get may arm over my head.
i wish you good health also.
Best, XXXXXXX Ivory
Where do you live? I'd like to look it up on a map.
I am in Upstate New York
Answered by Dr. Lohit K 2 hours later
Hi XXXXXXX Ivory, Thanks for your wishes.

1. In the mean time you can do some exercises to keep all the muscle active. Follow correct action of each muscle for its exercise. You can consult a physiotherapist for it.

2. You may take neuroprotective agents like multivitamin containing methyl cobalamine (B complex) and pregabalin every day. Take protein powder. If neuropathy steroids will help. Discuss with your doctor to take these medication.

3. Don't over exert any muscle during exercise.

4. Since you could not get your arm over your head, there may be chances of even bursitis or problem in some muscle action. You can consult your orthopedician or general practitioner to check for it, action of the all the muscles involved in each movement of your arm. This will help to pinoint the diagnosis and their management.

5. Have adequate regular sleep of 8 hours, plenty of fluids, nutritious diet with required calorie and exercises. Keep your weight under control.

I stay near Bangalore in India.

Hope I answered all your queries. If you have any health related questions, you can ask me and I will be glad to answer.

Wish you good health and faster recovery.
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