Ulnar Nerve Damage Caused Muscle Atrophy In My Hand

WHAT A SHOCK! One day I looked at my right hand and noticed that it just didn’t look right. I was surprised to find that the muscle between my index finger and thumb was gone. My hand no longer had that healthy meaty look of a normal hand. I found out later it was from ulnar nerve damage.


Hand Muscle Wasting & Weakness from Ulnar Nerve Damage (Pinched Ulnar Nerve)

 Ulnar nerve damge caused muscle loss in my right hand between my thumb and forefinger.You can't see the muscle atrophy from the palm side of my hand.Ulnar nerve damge caused muscle atrophy in my right hand between my thumb and forefinger.

These are pictures of my right hand that show the muscle loss between my thumb and forefinger. It’s not that noticeable at first, but you can see the sunken area between the thumb and forefinger on the back of my hand when I spread my fingers out. It’s not that noticeable on the palm  side of my hand but when I close my fist and view it from the back side, it becomes very obvious.

It’s Permanent Damage!


Pinched Ulnar Nerve Caused Muscle Atrophy In My Hand

I have muscle atrophy and weakness in my hand and fingers from a pinched ulnar nerve. It’s permanent damage. I think I damaged my ulnar nerve while resting my arm on the arm rest of my chair at work.

Shortly after having surgery I developed a weakness in my right hand. I first noticed it during my normal exercise routine which included a limited number of finger tip pushups. Following surgery, I could no longer do finger tip pushups nor could I even hold myself up in that position. I first attributed this weakness due to my recovery period following surgery. I WAS WRONG.


Muscle Atrophy Pictures

Normal left hand with no muscle atrophy.   nerve-damaged-hand-comparison-large   muscle-loss-between-thumb-and-fore-finger-large   muscle-atrophy-in-hand-ulnar-nerve-damage-large

Pictures show loss of fleshy muscle mass between the thumb and forefinger. Spread fingers cannot be closed. Bent little finger. All caused by a pinched or damaged ulnar nerve in the arm. Compare normal left hand with damaged right hand in the picture above.


Problem With My Hand & Fingers

I quickly recovered from my surgery and my muscles quickly regained their strength, that is, all of them except my hand and fingers of my right hand.

At a follow-up meeting with my plastic surgeon, I mentioned that I had a problem with my right hand and fingers. I explained about not being able to do the pushups, that I had occasional numbness, that my right hand and fingers were weak and I pointed out the loss of muscle between my thumb and forefinger. He then examined my fingers, hands, arms and my neck area.

I asked him if this could be related to my tummy tuck plastic surgery. He indicated that it was not, but maybe it was from ulnar nerve damage or possibly neck related nerve damage. He provided me with the name of a neurologist (a neurologist is a medical doctor who specializes in neurology. A neurologist is trained to investigate, diagnose and treat nerve conditions or neurological disorders. Neurology is the medical field involving the study of the human nervous system including the nerves, brain, spinal chord and muscles) and recommended that I make an appointment.

I made an appointment with the neurologist the very next day and I prepared the following “talk sheet” to bring with me.


My Ulnar Nerve Damage “Talking Sheet”

Right Hand Symptoms

  1. Weakness in fingers (in particular the pinky and the adjacent finger).
  2. Sideways motion of fingers is difficult. Hard to close fingers, as in a salute.
  3. Small finger is bent.
  4. The fleshy area of the hand between the thumb and the first finger is “sunken” and appears to have lost some of it’s “meat” or muscle when compared to the left hand.
  5. Finger tips get cold easily as compared to left hand.
  6. Cannot “push” with small finger at all. Pushing capability with other fingers is diminished.

It Became Hard To

  1. Unlock car door with key.
  2. Write name with pen.
  3. Use tweezers.

Neck & Hand History

  1. I am right handed and probably for the last 10 years or so my right hand strength has been strong but not as strong as my left hand.
  2. I work on the computer and use a mouse in my right hand. For the past couple of years I have been wearing a wrist band to alleviate pressure on my wrist.
  3. I lift 25 lb. dumbbells daily in each hand, so I still have some “gripping power” of my fingers.
  4. For about the last 20 years or more I have had occasional difficulty turning head to left (stiff neck/shoulder).
  5. I can only sleep on my left side. If I lay on my right side for more than 3 minutes my neck/shoulder bothers me.
  6. 20 years ago when I worked bent over a drafting board, I would frequently get migraine headaches and a stiff neck.
  7. I “crack my neck” frequently. I have been cracking it for as long as I remember.
  8. When I was in college I was in a car accident that may have contributed to my neck problems.


- Read about my visit with the Neurologist to check out my Ulnar Nerve Damage -