Cubital Tunnel, Carpal Tunnel, and Trigger Finger: Who Has All Three?

Hello, It's been a long time since I've been on tudiabetes. It has been a busy couple of months between moving to a different state, final exams, and the holidays, my life has been chaotic.

Today I had an EMG test and found out I have cubital tunnel, carpel tunnel, and trigger finger. I asked the neurologist if it was common for diabetics to have all three problems at once or two out of three at once, and he said that diabetics tend to at least have two out of three of the above mentioned nerve issues at the same time. I just thought I would do some little research of my own and find out how many diabetics on here have had or are currently having these nerve issues. If you have had these problems, did you have surgery and did the surgery truly help? Any advice or knowledge on this issue is greatly appreciated.

I think I am at the starting to have capral tunnel. I have the hands that go numb at night and the tingly feeling during the day. I dont know if its diabetes related or work related. I have been in the IT industry for 20 years and have been on keyboards most of my life. So may be work related. I have talked to my doc about it but since its not causing major problems for now they just have me sleep with wrist bands.

Ok, just so everyone knows. The cubital tunnel is in your elbow and really what we are talking about is ulnar nerve entrapment, usually indicated by numbness in your little finger and the back of your hand. When it gets really bad, your little fingers will lose motor control and curl up. Carpel tunnel is an entrapment of the nerves in the wrist, usually causing numbness of your index, middle fingers and thumb and numbess in the palm. These are neuropathies and are made much worse by diabetes. When I looked into it, it seemed that as diabetic neuropathy sets it, there are several places in your body that are vulnerable to inflammation and entrapment, particularly your wrists, elbows and shoulders. Shoulder entrapment is something to be on the lookout for as well.

If you have not guessed it by now, I suffer from all of them (including shoulder entrapment). I have been through physio, but I am now to a similar point (primarily with my carpal tunnel), I am left with seemingly no option except surgery. I have to do something in the near future. My fingers are always numb, the numbness is spreading.

As to trigger finger, that is common problem, but of different character, probably more of a result of thickening of the tendons. Sorry I don’t have that “yet.”

It is my understanding the carpal surgery has markedly improved over the years. The success rate is now 70-90%. It is still recommended that you pursue less radical treatment before turning to surgery, primarily physical therapy, anti-inflammatories and using splints, particularly at night. There are bunch of expected complications, but generally not bad things. About 10% lose wrist strength.

I believe the open release method is the traditional method, leaving a scar from the open surgery. The newer technique is endoscopic, being just as effective as far as I can tell and leaving no major scar. My choice would be endoscopic.

I’ve not really looking into surgery for ulnar nerve entrapment, as my most pressing problem is the carpal tunnel. Do quickly move to try the physical therapy. Do exercises and get a brace for sleeping. Surgery outcomes are better if you don’t wait around forever. But of course, it is not like I necessarily take my own advice.

I work in an office so I am on a computer all the time, but I was surprised to have all three of these issues. I am only 26 and I don’t understand what I could have done to myself to have complications so early in life. In the 11 years of being diabetic, I have only had one incident where I had a seizure due to low blood sugar. I have only been on a pump for two years, but since getting on a pump and having a CGMS, my A1C hasn’t been any higher than 6.7. When I took shots, I did struggle to keep my sugars normal. My A1C average was 7.6 just about every time I visited the doctor. I guess, I’m having problems because of the 9 years of high levels. In my defense, my endo didn’t believe in insulin pumps. I should have found a different endo earlier on, but I was young, thought that all doctors were honest and knew what they were doing, silly me.
Next week, I find out what the recommendation is with all these nerve problems. Right now, I sleep with an elbow guard and I try to keep my left arm straight, but every morning, I wake up to find my elbow bent and my hand tucked under my head so what’s a girl to do? I need to do more research on treatment, so next week I can be the expert or at least ask intelligent questions. In the meantime, I have super strong silly putty that’s supposed to help increase my hand strength and I was given ulnar nerve exercises to do 3-5 times a day. If anyone has more information, I would be happy to have it.
Things can always be worse so I should thank my lucky stars.

I know it is disheartening. I was only diagnosed in 2005, and for the last 4 years I’ve kept my HbA1c under 6.5% and still I have this happen. But understand, these conditions happen to lots of people, diabetic and non-diabetic. It is estimated that 500,000 people have carpal tunnel syndrom It may or may not have been caused by any one thing. Your blood sugar control sounds quite good. Just chalk it up to one of those things. Stuff happens.

It really sounds like you have not even done the whole physical therapy thing, so get right on that. You may well find that you get some immediate relief. It is not just silly putty. You will do exercises to increase you flexibility and range of motion and free up your joints. Increasing your strength is also critical to keeping your joints in their proper positions and moving properly. When you joints are not strong and don’t hold in place properly they can bind up, pinch nerves and become inflammed. So do those exercise and become strong.

So get right on top of this. Get some treatment. And keep your smile. You will get through this and with a little determination you may well end up stronger and fitter than you ever were.

Looks like this topic was posted a few years ago. I have all three: Carpal Tunnel, Trigger Finger and Cubital Tunnel. My EMG test showed that I have severe Carpal Tunnel. I have decided to have surgery.

Diana1, did your results from your EMG test recommend you have surgery? Did you have surgery?

I’ve had carpal tunnel release on both hands due to suffering for close to 2 years. I wore a brace on my hands/wrists for sleeping in order to get a degree of relief.

Ambulatory surgeries went very well; done 6 weeks apart. It ‘did the job’, so to speak.

Believe my use of computer, mainly at work, was responsible. Yes, D could’ve contributed, but glad I had it done.

I do have a bit of arthritis in my hands and legs, but I’m not complaining. :grinning: