Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Anesthesia

Numbness in hands

08/21/2007

Question:

I recently had a c-section (about 2 weeks ago on 8/1/07) -- the anesthesiologist gave me the numbing needle for the spinal (im positive it was a spinal) and then, when he put the spinal needle in, he made 3 attempts before he got it into the place he wanted it. I got the sensation of being karate chopped in the back when he got the place he wanted. I laid down on the table and my feet started to go numb.. as did the rest of me up to my chest. After the c-section I felt fine, aside from the usual pain of my incision. Just before I went home, 4 days later, I started to get this numbness and tingling in my right hand. It feels like pins and needles. I asked my OB about it just before leaving the hospital, and he told me that he thought it was excess water in my hands, and that it should go away within two weeks. Well it still hasnt gone away, as a matter of fact, it seems to have moved up my arm to my elbow. I do get feeling on occasions, but id say 80% of the time its pins and needles or its numb. is this because maybe he (the anesthesiologist) hit some nerve during on of those times he tried to re-insert the needle?? and if so how long is this feeling going to last? I hope its not going to keep moving up my arm! Should i go see a specialist??

Answer:

It's unlikely that your spinal anesthesia has anything to do with the symptoms you are experiencing in your arm and hand. The needle would have been inserted in your lower back, far from any nerves that supply your upper extremity.

Your symptoms are more likely due to a nerve problem in your neck, elbow or wrist, unrelated to the anesthesia.

I suggest you seek help from your family physician or a specialist.

For more information:

Go to the Anesthesia health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Gareth S Kantor, MD Gareth S Kantor, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University