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Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Numbness in Fingers Spreading after Broken Wrist a Sign


 eeese - Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:22 am

My Wrist was broken in November and was put in cast without surgery. The cast was removed in late December and I am in Physical Therapy. My Therapist is concerned that two fingers are still very swollen and numb and the numbness seems to be spreading from the tips down to the palm. I suspect ulnar nerve damage, as my Dr said, and he believes the swelling will go down. But yesterday, a woman at therapy warned me her mother had swelling and it could be a sign of an oncoming stroke or other condition. Is this posssible?
Seperately, I have been suffering from some great fatigue and hair loss,etc and thought it was a thyroid issue (My psychiatrist had me on Lithium) and had blood tests. My TSH levels were in the low normal range (.525) of the .5 - 5.0 (or .3 - 3.0) whichever range you use. I heard low thyroid function could aggravate numbness and thought this may be prolonging the issue. My T4 level is normal.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:11 am

User avatar Hello,
Thanks for writing in.
First, about the thyroid: a low TSH usually is a sign of hyperthyroidism (symptoms: intolerance to heat, weight loss, anxiety and nervousness, palpitations). Check for a low free T3. Occasionally, the T4 does not convert to T3 (activated component of thyroid hormone).

Regarding the finger numbness. An EMG would show any ulnar nerve palsy (which innervates the intrinsic hand muscles and skin over the 5th digit and 1/2 of the 4th digit).

It is important to control the swelling (elevation, compression, and ice) as the swelling may cause some tingling or numbness.

In essence, follow up with the orthopedist and family physician for above considerations.

Let us know how it goes. Take care.

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