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Numbness in left pinky/ring finger

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Hey people! I wasn't too sure what to do so I thought I'd ask here.

Anyway, just recently, as of yesterday, I've been having this tingling/numbness in my left hand pinky and ring finger, and also on the bottom of my hand. I'm not really sure what to make of this. I do kind of play a decent amount of games (I play everyday), but I haven't been doing anything differently recently. My left hand is on a gamepad that's supposedly ergonomically designed so I'm not sure if that's going to be a problem?

Just wondering if anyone had some advice, thanks!
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic
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replied October 23rd, 2011
Especially eHealthy

Numbness in the small and ring fingers is usually caused by compression of the ulnar nerve. The compression can be at the elbow, in the cubital tunnel, or at the base of the palm, in Guyon's canal.

So, somehow, you are applying pressure to the ulnar nerve. This can commonly be done by resting your elbow on the table while cupping your chin in the palm (holding your head up with your hand with the point of the elbow on the table). This can compress the nerve in both places.

Sometimes, just holding the elbow in a flexed position will cause the small and ring fingers to go to sleep. This occurs commonly when patients are asleep.

Resting the elbow on the arm of a chair can also compress the nerve in the cubital tunnel. I cannot sit in any arm chair with my elbows on the arms for very long, before by small and ring finger start to go to sleep.

Again, putting pressure on the small finger side (ulnar side) of the palm will compress the nerve. Some patients get numbness from static grasping of objects.

In some rare cases, the numbness is actually coming from the cervical spine, at the C8 nerve root. But, the pattern of numbness is slightly different in this case. But, if the ulnar nerve is looked at and is not being compressed, then the surgeon will usually start looking more proximally, to the brachial plexus or cervical nerve roots.

If the numbness goes away promptly, then nothing really needs to be done. It is just like when you sit on your foot and it goes to sleep. Once the compression is released from the nerves, the nerve will wake up.

If the numbness and tingling is coming on more and more quickly or staying longer and longer, then you may need to have it looked at by a hand surgeon. If the compression becomes chronic, then the nerve can be injured to the point of the numbness and tingling becoming permanent and also the motor part of the nerve can become affected, resulting in weakness of the small muscles in the hand (the intrinsics).

Good luck.
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replied November 14th, 2012
Little finger numbness
Be aware that numbness of the little finger alone, without numbness in other fingers should call for a thorough workup. Since the ulnar nerve serves more than the little finger, it would be unusual for it to affect just a portion of its sensory pathways. Cardiac issues, brain involvement, or underlying disease neuropathy might be in play, and should be ruled out.
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replied January 18th, 2013
Mine as well is going numb same symptoms, pinky and left side of ring finger on left hand. But I am also having thoracic back pain associated with a back injury at work. could it related?
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replied March 17th, 2013
Thank You, Gaelic! I have had this issue for over a month and all I could find was things like panic attacks even when I shared it with my doctor! I just laughed so loud as I read your post because I was literally sitting with my elbow on my desk cupping my chin with my hand!!!! You're awesome! Neuropathy is on the list for me of possible issues so thanks to Johnrete for covering that info this time though I think it's what Gaelic said and not my neuropathy. Awesome!
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replied April 13th, 2013
3 weeks of numbness
I am having the same symptoms. The numbness has been for 3 weeks now!! Sad
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replied November 18th, 2013
I am in the same "boat", however, my numbness started in my thumb on my right hand and moved down the left side of my wrist. That numbness lasted approx. 3 months and then suddenly went away (it has returned twice only to leave several days later). Now I am experiencing constant numbness in my left small and ring finger. In the beginning it was both fingers on both hands, but has now subsided to just the left hand. I have seen my doctor and have a scheduled M.R.I. for next year. My doctor does not know about the numbness occurring in my small and ring finger.
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replied November 19th, 2013
Gaelic is correct.

I went through my baby and ring finger tingling. When I saw my doctor he just touched my elbow and caused tingling so bad that it hurt. I didn't need an MRI because he found the problem area so easily. He then sent me to a specialist. My Ulnar nerve was being compressed at the level of my elbow, "Cubital Tunnel Syndrome." When I saw the specialist in the beginning, he ordered a nerve conduction study and it was not at a point where surgery was necessary to correct the problem so I had to wear a splint for a year that didn't help. I had to have surgery to move my Ulnar nerve to resolve the problem. It was an outpatient surgery and I went home around two hours after it was done. They gave me a nerve block that lasted until the next day. I was prescribed Norco for pain, but it was minimal. I was not allowed to lift more than 2lbs for four months. The only problem I have now is while riding in a car with the window open, I can't rest my arm on the door because it will compress my ulnar nerve. Other than that, I don't have any problems.

This is not something to ignore or mess around with. Permanent damage can result if left untreated as Gaelic said. In my case, my Ulnar nerve was compressed at the level of my elbow. When I saw the specialist he strummed his fingers from my elbow and down the under part of my arm to see if he could make my fingers tingle even more and he did. I even tried it. You should not be able to do this unless there is a problem.

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