#1
Well, I've got a big, BIG problem.
Basically, about a year back, my pinky finger started feeling odd. It kept locking when I tried to press down on, or move towards, a fret, didn't work right and started losing flesh. I went to the doctor and he's diagnosed it as ulnar nerve entrapment. I was looking for massages on the internet to find out if there were any that would help, and I stumbled a across a website that might have been useful. But it doesn't matter, as in one of the paragraphs it said that muscle wasting as a result of ulnar nerve entrapment is irreversible. So, as I can hardly use my pinky now, and my ring finger is deteriorating, my playing looks like it might be coming to a premature end. Does anyone have evidence to suggest the website is wrong, and does anyone have and tips/exercises for improving accuracy in the pinky? Before anyone suggests, I have no interest in playing without using my pinky, or ring finger. It just doesn't seem right to me. Guitar is the only thing I've had any usable talent at, and unless the website is wrong, or unless there is something else that can be done, I think it's soon to be over, in which case I don't know what the hell I'm going to do.

Regards
Dougie
Last edited by Dougjoshwright at Sep 12, 2016,
#2
So your doctor has diagnosed it, but what are they suggesting you do about it?
I too didn't want to stop playing from this and had an operation to relocate my nerve. This is for a severe case, I believe there are other options.
Prior to the operation I had all the symptoms - pins and needles in my pinky and ring, waking up at night with a dead arm and muscle wastage (even in the muscle between the thumb/index finger).
After the operation, it took me a long time to recover. I was told that the nerve tends to regenerate at 1mm a day and since it went at my elbow that would be about 1 and a half years. In reality it took longer!
I am happy to say that the muscle did grow back and I now believe I have full strength and ability in that hand.
If I had just left it then I believe I would eventually have lost reasonable use of those fingers and the muscle would waste to a point of no return. So, I return to my initial question......
Your doctor has diagnosed it, but what are they suggesting you do about it?
#3
SpiderM
Hi, thanks for the reply
He's given me a splint to wear that should (in theory) take the pressure off the nerve at night, and if that doesn't work he's suggested moving to electrical therapy. I'll ask him next appointment if there's anything I can do, (and if an operation is possible as a last resort in my case) my main concern is getting the lost flesh back, as that is what is causing the instability in the finger.
#4
This may be a useless post but I just wanted to wish you luck directly. I hope you carry on being able to play well
#7
Quote by Dougjoshwright
SpiderM
Hi, thanks for the reply
He's given me a splint to wear that should (in theory) take the pressure off the nerve at night, and if that doesn't work he's suggested moving to electrical therapy. I'll ask him next appointment if there's anything I can do, (and if an operation is possible as a last resort in my case) my main concern is getting the lost flesh back, as that is what is causing the instability in the finger.


Well I'm relieved to hear that something is being done about it. As mentioned, I am aware that there are different ways to treat it.
Apparently, for some, it is a matter of not over extending the elbow joint when sleeping or keeping off the cell phone too much.
Mine must have been a fair bit worse as the doctor didn't hesitate about getting me to surgery. I think this was due to a high degree of muscle wastage.
Sounds like you are doing the right thing by keeping up those doctors appointments.
I think, for some, it doesn't return to normal but don't loose hope. I remember my muscle wastage being that bad that when I used those 'airblade' hand driers the skin between my thumb and index would flap around. I couldn't grip a piece of paper and remember seeing my hand (playing guitar) on a video and it looked skeletal. As I said, it took a long time but I got there.
#8
@SpiderM
Congrats for healing and not giving up. Hopefully the doctor will come up with a solution soon, if it turns out to be the last resort I'd definitely consent to surgery
Last edited by Dougjoshwright at Sep 14, 2016,