Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition where the ulnar
nerve, which runs on the inside and posterior part of the elbow, has
compression and subsequent levels of dysfunction. Common symptoms, from least
to most severe, are: 1) numbness that involves the little finger and half the
ring finger, (a 'funny bone" feeling) 2) weakness of grasp or grip, 3) loss of
control of fine motor skills, and 4) wasting or atrophy of small muscles in the
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Causes
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is caused by compression of the nerve at the level of the elbow, and that compression can often be exacerbated by posture or position of the elbow, such as excessive elbow flexion, as can happen when talking on the phone.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Early recognition of the symptoms can often be reversed with conservative management. Treatment can include use of anti-inflammatories, avoiding aggravating positions, and bracing the elbow in extension, especially when sleeping.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis
Most patients who are not resolving symptomatically can have the diagnosis confirmed with electrodiagnostic studies. This confirms the location of the compression.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Surgery
Once confirmed, the
nerve can be decompressed surgically.
There are a variety of techniques that can be used, but the common factor
is that the pressure on the nerve is relieved.
Because nerves only reconstitute function at a millimeter a day, some symptoms may not resolve for well over a year, even when treated appropriately, and full recovery is not always assured, depending on severity of the presenting symptoms. Most patients, however, ultimately feel the surgical treatment was beneficial.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome After Surgery
After surgical decompression, once postoperative pain has
resolved, patients can slowly resume most activities, and many don't require