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Having numbness and ache in elbow and underarm following stabbing pain. Had lower back operation. Suggestions?

Jul 2013
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
Following stabbing pains along the arm ten days ago there has been both a numbness and ache of the elbow and under arm. This is still continuing . MRI scan to brain has revealed no damage there. I had a lower back operation in February to alleviate sciatica in right leg- following one four years ago for the same on left leg. Original pain this time also included a focus on upper right back. All other tests have been done. Would welcome your opinion.
Posted Sat, 3 Aug 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 1 hour later
Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX
The description suggests that you have CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY which is most commonly related to cervical intervertebral disc degeneration with irritation of a particular nerve root.
The early manifestations include - pain in the distribution of the particular nerve, tingling and numbness. If left untreated will cause muscle weakness and reflex changes in the nerve root distribution.
Diagnosis is generally made by clinical examination and confirmed by MRI scan of cervical spine ,EMG or Nerve conduction studies.
Initial management is by -
* cervical collar
* Analgesic and antiinflammatory medications
* Neurotropic vitamins (Vit B12 especially)
* Physiotherapy
* Epidural steroids may be helpful in certain cases.

Surgical decompression is needed if there is no response to the above line of management or if the neurological symptoms are deteriorating.
Hope I have answered your query. Happy to help if you need any more clarification. Regards
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