05 August 2021

Posterior interosseous nerve

I went to hospital again. I was going to see a new physiotherapist for the second time. She had advised me to carefully start using my hands on my mouse, tablet, and keyboard again. And I have done that. I am using my hands more than I have in a long time! I am still careful, though. But not careful enough. Sometimes I use my hands to the extent I think I get away with it, and then I suddenly have to do something that is graphic and can't be done on voice alone. And then I have already used up my hand quota, but use them again. And that hurts. I will still need to pace myself.

She asked me how I had fared. I told her. And she had a bit of a prod. She wanted to know exactly where I hurt if I hurt. She easily found the tender spot. And that made her think that maybe the culprit was my posterior interosseous nerve. I hadn't heard of it, but she showed me where it goes. She read out to me what symptoms you get if this nerve gets a bit pinched. And it sounded exactly like my symptoms! The tender spot happened to be where one has their Arcade of Frohse, and that seems to be the area of muscle that goes over this very nerve. It was pretty much the first time that my symptoms were consistent with a particular condition. I seem to not quite conform to tennis elbow, or golf arm, or any of those more common ailments. So this sounded promising. And she said she could request for that nerve to be tested. They can send an electric signal through, and check if it comes through at the right speed. If it doesn't, there is an impediment, and then they have objective evidence for what the actual problem is. If the signal comes through at the appropriate speed, then either this never was the problem, or by the time I have my nerves tested, the problem has largely gone away due to the voice recognition software and the exercises I do. I was quite keen to get that test! This will be the first time they check a very specific part of my body. I am a scientist, I like data. And I suppose I hope these nerves work well, because if they don't, I could imagine measures to improve that could be rather intrusive, but if that is what the problem is I want to know about it. I might have to wait months for this test, but I will just try to improve in that time. I still hope for if not full recovery, then at least a pretty good one!

The posterior interosseous nerve is the continuation of what is here labelled as the deep branch of the radial nerve

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