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Old 06-02-2009, 04:09 PM
John Navas
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Default NEWS: More talking, more problems: 'Cell phone elbow' damages nerves

If your pinkie and ring fingers tingle or feel numb, you might not
want to pick up that cell phone to call the doctor.

Orthopedic specialists are reporting cases of "cell phone elbow," in
which patients damage an essential nerve in their arm by bending
their elbows too tightly for too long.

When cell phone users hold the phone to their ears, they stretch a
nerve that extends underneath the funny bone and controls the
smallest fingers. When talkers chat for a long time in that position,
it "chokes the blood supply to the nerves. It makes the nerves
short-circuit. The next thing you know, there's tingling in the ring
and small finger," said Dr. Peter J. Evans, the director of the Hand
and Upper Extremity Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland,

When that happens, the advice is simple: Switch hands -- before it
gets worse.

People who have this condition, called cubital tunnel syndrome, can
feel weakness in their hands and have difficulty opening jars or
playing musical instruments.

"It could impede your typing ability, your writing ability," Evans
said. "People get very unintelligible writing if it gets severe."


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