Dear Ask The Doctor: I was injured at work , the doctor diagnosed it as a torn rotator cuff , besides pain in the shoulder , I have pain in the left arm , there is pain also in the arm piy area , along the left forearm , and into the left hand , mostly in the 3 fingers of the left hand there is a tingling sensation in the pinky finger , and the next 2 fingers , the pysio therapist thinks there is a pinched nerve in my neck , because the pain increases in the arm and fingers when I lean my head back , shaving etc is difficult ,when I explain the neck problems to the doctor , he just says he doent know why I have these symptoms , have you heard of these symptoms from a torn rotator cuff ? or can there be a pinched nerve in my neck that may cause the same syptoms ?
Dear Ken: Maybe you are having both conditions: the torn Rotator Cuff and a Cervical radiculopathy. The tingling in your left hand along with the pain as you described it, may be due to a cervical nerve compression, but it would be important to rule out inflammation of the peripheral nerves at the level of the arm and hand, especially the ulnar nerve. In order to determine the cause, possibly you will need to perform additional studies as: electromyography and MRI of the cervical spine. In the younger patients, cervical radiculopathy may be a result of a disc herniation or an acute injury causing impingement of an exiting nerve. In the older patient, cervical radiculopathy is often a result of spinal canal narrowing from bone (osteophyte) formation, decreased disc height and degenerative changes due to aging process.