Nerve damage from car accident

Old 10-12-04, 03:26 PM
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Nerve damage from car accident

A couple of weeks ago, I was the passenger involved in a car accident. I appeared to be uninjured except that I bumped my elbow hard on the arm rest of the door on impact with the other vehicle.

I haven't been to a doctor, but I'm going tomorrow because I'm having problems that didn't go away after the accident.

I didn't go to the hospital because I just noticed a bruise on my arm right at my funny bone. Over a few days though I noticed strange symptoms. Now I can't fully extend my arm without a searing spasm of sensation (similar to when you smash your funny bone) every time. Also I am getting numbness from my elbow down my forearm and in my hand and fingers. Not all spots are numb, but the majority is very low in sensation. I can barely touch my skin or hair and don't feel anything, but if I press down on the skin I can feel it.

Also I have almost no grip strength. I can move my fingers at roughly 50% from normal movement and speed now, but I can't grip at all hardly.

Also I get tingling sensations in my elbow, forearm, hand and fingers, especially in the 4th and 5th finger. Similar again to a funny bone hit but not as strong.

I've heard this can be permanent since it happened 2 weeks ago and hasn't gotten better. I had a small bruise on my elbow from the impact, but that healed at least and I thought the bruise was causing swelling and that was pinching my nerve.

Any ideas?
Old 10-16-04, 10:01 PM
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I believe that you are right on the mark and the visit to the doctor is the best move.
Old 10-31-04, 09:21 AM
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Did you go to the doctor? I was in a car accident 5 months ago, only I was the driver and hit on the passenger side. The car hit my (full size) van so hard it rolled and my left elbow went through the window and collided with the road. No fractures just glass so everybody thought everything was fine. Only I still have a lot of pain, after three removals of glass (one with surgery) and 11 weeks of physical therapy. Some days I can type; some days I can only type 5 minutes. Some days I can hold things; some days I cannot. I've not had more than 89 degrees of bend out of my elbow by myself (physical therapists can push it to 109 degrees but it hurts VERY bad) and even that is painful. Most days I can straighten my arm completely (especially if I hold my shoulder right). Sometimes I have a swollen elbow joint, swollen upper arm, swollen lower arm, swollen fingers, numb fingers, cold fingers, shooting pain from the elbow, burning pain at the elbow, burning pain at the wrist, twitching at the elbow or just above the elbow, aching pain at the elbow or aching pain in the forearm. Not all at once though, they come and they go. I will have an EMG next week (have had xrays and mri's with no remarkable results except yep there is glass) and have been referred to an orthopedic surgeon (3rd one) at the University of Michigan. I get the feeling that everybody thinks it is all in my head because they can't find anything on the xrays/mri and I keep getting "you need to be more aggressive" or "there is nothing stopping it from bending" (yeah except excruciating pain). I *wish* it was all in my head because then it would go away. I'm a full time student with 16 credits and 6 hours of lab every week, plus a husband and a 6 year old son. Some days I can't hold a small paperback book with my left hand, let alone a 9 pound textbook or pour chemicals from one beaker to another.

I guess I was wondering what your doctor said or what you might be considering now?

Old 11-02-04, 08:59 AM
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I am a doctor and I would encourage you to seek treatment as soon as possible. You are describing symptoms consistent with damage to the ulnar nerve, which supplies the little finger side of the hand and runs on the inside portion of the back of the elbow - the funny bone. If you can be helped, you will get better results the sooner you start.
kathann voted this post useful.

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