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Vascular Surgery

Numbness in fingers and thumbs

02/20/2004

Question:

For the last month and a half, I have a kind of numbness in my thumbs. When I hold a book or piece of paper my thumbs feel very cold. It almost feels like they have been frostbitten. Both index fingers are starting to feel the same way. I don`t know if this is a problem from my very bad neck arthritis or not. I don`t think it`s carpal tunnel because I don`t seem to have any pain except my fingers feel like they`re always cold. Would I go to a neurologist or a regular doctor to check this out??? I would really appreciate any advise you could give me.

Answer:

Osteoarthritis of the cervical spine (`bad neck arthritis`) is likely the underlying cause of the thumb numbness; however, it would be very helpful to have your primary care doctor check your radial pulses in both arms. If these are found to be diminished, then I would recommend a non-invasive vascular lab study of both arms. This is painless and involves blood pressure cuffs which check pressures in the forearm and fingers. Best of luck!

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Response by:

Amy B Reed, MD Amy B Reed, MD
No longer associated