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ulnar neuropathy after hip replacement?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • November 28, 2006
  • 02:06 AM

#1 Today, 01:59 AM
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Nerve damage in hand after hip replacement


I am 51 years old. I slipped and fell at work in Jan. 06 and injured my right hip. After months of pain, Surgeon recommended total hip replacement in August 06. Surgery went well due to age and 'flexibility', but immediately after surgery I experienced symptoms of ulnar nerve damage in right hand (numbness, tingling, pain, altered sensation, etc.) After three months, the symptoms have not gone away but have gotten worse. Workman's Compensation refuses to approve nerve studies to determine extent of damage, and surgeon insists it is a "coincidence" that the damage occured right after surgery, since I was not in supine positon,I can't believe that it is a coincidence that I entered the hospital with a bad hip and left with a better one, but entered with a perfectly good hand and left with one that is constantly numb and/or painful. As a schoolteacher, I use my right (and dominant) hand constantly. Has anyone heard of this happening after hip arthroplasty? I am appealing Workman Comp's decision to the Industrial COmmission, and would like some evidence to back me up.

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2 Replies:

  • May be related to positioning during surgery. If it was on the same side as the operated hip it could be due to stretching of the nerve from a positioning device. If on the opposite side (the down side during the surgery) it could be related to pressure on the ulnar tunnel suring surgery. You should make your anesthesiologist aware of this.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 28, 2006
    • 07:01 PM
    • 0
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  • Thank you for your reply. Based on the research I have done on the net, I came to the same conclusion: that the damage had to be due to positioning during surgery. However, the surgeon states that it is "unlikely" that the positioning during surgery had anything to do with the nerve damage, since I was not in the supine position. The nerve damage is on the same side as the affected hip. According to the operative report, I was given general endotracheal anesthesia induced while I was in the supine position. I wa then rolled into the left lateral decubitus position and fixed there with a Hulbert Mark II pelvic clamp. After the surgery, I was laid supine, awakened, and taken to the recovery room. As soon as I woke from the anesthesia, I noticed the nerve problems with the little and ring fingers and half the palm of my right hand. I guess that my basic question is this: is it possible for ulnar neuropathy or ulnar neuritis to occur in any position other than supine? :confused: If so, then I have a good chance of appealing the workman's comp denial of my claim for nerve studies. I have no health insurance (currently out of work) and can't pay for the nerve studies on my own. I need a second opinion on this from an orthopedist. Are there any other resources on the web that I could access? I am still absolutely convinced that the nerve damage that is getting worse instead of better three months after the surgery is related to positioning during anesthesia, but have no way to prove it. In fact, I can't even prove that there was any nerve damage at all without nerve studies to substantiate my claim. My next step will be to retain an atttorney,but any information that I can gather to show a possible relationship to ulnar nerve damage in other than the supine position would be most helpful. Any advice/suggestions/resources would be greatly appreciated.
    anneinws 1 Replies
    • December 7, 2006
    • 09:36 PM
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