Cubital Tunnel and Tendonitis From Driving, and surgery to move the nerve

by Fred Grinnell
(Ottawa, Canada)

Two years ago I took a different shift at work with a lot less lifting & unloading, for more driving.

Arms were tired and ached, I thought it was my age (46) & a physical job to blame.

In may 09 I made a doctors appt. because left hand & two fingers were getting noticeably numb.

Diagnosed with bi-lateral cubital tunnel. I have had 1 transposition surgery, sept. 09, & started physio.

I regained range of movement on my left arm but was getting increasingly sore with attempts to return to regular use.

Concurrent Diagnosis of tendonitis in both arms as well. I have now been in physio therapy for a total of 10 weeks and am still having problems.

Half of my left hand & 1,1/2 fingers are still numb. My physio therapist has told me to make a doctors appointment because Tens does not work on me and when I do feel it, it is a sharp burning pain I feel.

Does this mean there is still nerve problems, & should I request another N.C.V. test before I go for steroid shots in elbows.

Thank You


Joshua Answers:

Oh, I wish we'd met before you had surgery.

When you step on a hose and slow down the water flowing through it, do you get out an ax and chop the hose up? No, you take your foot off the hose.

That's not the best analogy for surgery that moves your nerve somewhere else,'s what I got right now.

That makes sense that you have Tendonitis in both arms. You already had a Pain Causing Dynamic and a Tendonitis dynamic even before the surgery.

Then you were cut up and the nerve moved around, scar tissue laid down and pulled all that tissue together, the nervous system freaked out because you were injured and it did what it always does to protect you: it tightened up and increased the Process of Inflammation which released even more pain enhancing chemical into your system.

I fear that Corticosteroid Injections aren't going to be the answer you're hoping for. If you're lucky, they will reduce pain for a while (which isn't a bad thing).

And a NCT, in my opinion, isn't going to tell you anything helpful (other than that you have nerve damage and need another surgery! Fun!) I don't believe that you had any nerve damage. Your tight muscles were just stepping on the hose.

If you hadn't had the surgery, I wouldn't be worried about this at all. Hopefully the nerve is happy where it's at and won't present a whole lot of problem as we deal with reversing the dynamic.


1. Start Ice Dipping like a crazy man, as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page.

2. Supplement with Magnesium for Tendonitis and make sure to read the Magnesium Dosage page that tells you how much and what kind.

3. Get your Vitamin D level checked, and get your level up. I bet you a dollar your level is LOW.

4. Vitamin B6 and B12(methylcobalmin, not cyanocobalamin) Both are big in pain and nerve issues.

That's Phase 1. Get the nutritional bases covered, and lower your pain levels/make the ecology of the area happier with ice dipping.

More questions, more answers, and update me.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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