Question

My left arm becomes numb from the elbow to the tips of my three fingers. My thumb and index finger and a small portion of my hand do not become numb. It is the same sensation as if my arm has fallen asleep. I have woken up in the middle of the night with the condition, but also had it when relaxing. What I have noticed, is that unlike the typical "limb falling asleep" I am not resting on my arm, putting pressure on it, or cutting of circulation. Is this potential neuropathy? How does one get tested for the condition? I have been on Sustiva and Combivir for 11 months, CD4 is 927 and VL undetectable. Thanks. DC

Answer

What you describe would rarely be due to the HIV or drug related peripheral neuropathy that you hear discussed. More likely it is due to some nerve compression in shoulder/arm/writs area for conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. An evaluation by a neurologist (often with a nerve conduction study of some kind) often will pin down the likely diagnosis and help formulate a treatment plan. For carpal tunnel syndrome for example a wrist brace often is helpful (including at night). KH