Cubital Tunnel Syndrome – Ulnar Nerve Entrapment

Cubital tunnel syndrome happens when the ulnar nerve is entrapped at the elbow when it passes through a structure called cubital tunnel. The ulnar nerve is the nerve running down from your neck to your hands which helps to control your hand muscles and sensations of your hands and fingers. The ulnar nerve passes through the cubital tunnel, a tunnel of muscle, ligament, and bone present on the inside of the elbow.

Symptoms of Cubital tunnel symptoms 

Diagnosis of Cubital tunnel syndrome

A complete thorough examination of the patient is done along with the analysis of previous medical records. Diagnostic tests for Cubital tunnel syndrome include-

Nerve conduction test- To find out the compression of the nerve. This test is done to examine how fast the signals travel down the nerve across elbow

X-ray- This is done to examine the bones of the elbow.

MRI Cervical Spine- is always done to rule out any compression of the nerve in the spine

Causes and risk factors for cubital tunnel syndrome:

Ulnar nerve compression at cubital tunnel is cause by

Treatment of the Cubital tunnel syndrome

The most effective Cubital tunnel syndrome treatment is stopping the cause of the problem. Treatment may include-
If any of the above-mentioned treatments don’t work, then your neurosurgeon will discuss these with you. 

Cubital tunnel release- The roof of the cubital tunnel is a ligament and, in this cubital tunnel syndrome surgery, the doctor cuts and divide this ligament which makes the tunnel bigger and release pressure on the ulnar nerve.

Ulnar nerve anterior transposition In this surgery, your ulnar nerve from behind the elbow is moved to the front, close to the skin to stop the nerve getting stretched during elbow flexion.

Medial epicondylectomy In this surgery, a part of the medial epicondyle is removed to release the nerve to prevent it from compression.   

Post operatively you have to wear a splint on the arm for the next two to three weeks. To regain motion and strength, physical therapy is suggested.

If you have been suggested to undergo cubital tunnel syndrome surgery for entrapment of ulnar nerve, get a second opinion from cubital tunnel surgeon to explore other cubital tunnel syndrome treatment options available.

Dr. Arun Rajeswaran

Consult Dr. Arun with a professional experience of more than 13 years in the field of Neurosurgery

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