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Pinched Nerves: Spinal, Ulnar, and Carpal


Copyright 2024, Mark Alan Wade

Primary Author: Rosenthal, P.
Journal Title: The Horn Call
Date Published: Feb-04
Language: English
Category: Nervous Disorders
Key Words: nerves dystonia French horn instrument musician
Full Citation: Rosenthal, Philip. Pinched Nerves: Spinal, Ulnar, and Carpal. The Horn Call 34, no. 2 (February 2004): 57-58.
Full Abstract: Dr. Rosenthal describes the effects of a pinched spinal nerve (radiculopathy) on a Big 5 symphony orchestra hornist as pain in the left arm and neck that made holding the horn impossible. The MRI scan was not detailed enough for a diagnosis and a CAT scan myelogram test revealed a pinched nerve in the spine due to a bone spur and triggered by a bumpy go cart ride. A small incision in the neck was made to surgically correct the pinched nerve. The horn player was immediately healed and able to play again in the hospital recovery room. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as Ibuprofen, are useful. Most cervical spine disease of this nature will spontaneously heal within a few months. Patients who are not improved after three months, or who are suffering great pain, are candidates for surgery. The most serious conditions may be prescribed prescription steroidal medication. The compression of the median nerve where it passes through the narrow carpal tunnel in the wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome) is the most common peripheral nerve problem. Symptoms include pins and needles in the fingers and hand pain. Non-surgical treatment involves the use of a wrist and hand brace. The corrective surgical procedure takes ten minutes to perform and symptoms typically improve the same day.