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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes tingling in left wrist and difficulty in bending wrist and fingers?

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Dr. Dariush Saghafi

Neurologist

Practicing since :1988

Answered : 1663 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 in Brain and Spine
Question: Fell asleep sitting in hard chair (I often sleep there.). Some tingling in left wrist area. I cannot bend my wrist back at all. Hard to move fingers, a little
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Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Saturday night palsy- Classic

Detailed Answer:
You have the classic signs and symptoms of what is sometimes referred to as a Saturday Night palsy or Honeymooner's palsy. You've compressed the radial nerve. When you were sleeping you somehow isolated the radial nerve and then, compressed it causing it to now malfunction.

It is the equivalent of "sleeping on your arm". The tingling in the wrist is part of the sensory compromise as it also provides some innervation to the wrist area and helps us localize your problem the forearm.

The most common and prominent complaint is that of motor weakness in the wrist so that it is always "flopped over"...in other words you've lost extension power at the wrist and fingers. This weakness may remain to one extent or another for a period of several days to several weeks. In very severe cases, it can be permanent or last up to several months.

This problem is usually self limited (means it should resolve on its own) and starts getting better soon but as I commented it could take some time. A standard workup should include an EMG with nerve conduction studies which will help pinpoint exactly at which level the conduction block is occurring.

I would not get the EMG necessarily done 2-3 weeks from now as this can give time for any local swelling of the muscles and nerves to go down and at least "look better" to the tester.

You should consider enrolling in an occupational therapy program as well as other conservative treatments such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain and possible splinting so that the wrist can be protected from assuming a totally flexed position which can causes other problems.

On average people start feeling a little better and more useful with the hand after a few days to a week. Good luck with your recovery.

If you have any other questions about this condition feel free to ask. Otherwise, if I've answered your questions satisfactorily would you please do me the favor of providing some written feedback on how well I answered your questions or provided information that you did not previously know.

I would also greatly appreciate your CLOSING THE QUERY from your end as this will show the network that I have adequately addressed your concerns and that the case may be filed for future reference.

With the hope that you experience a full and speedy recovery.

This case required 27 minutes physician specific time in order to review, research, and chart the case for documentation and envoy to the patient.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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