Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Ulnar nerve entrapment, also known as cubital tunnel syndrome, is a condition in which the ulnar nerve is compressed or damaged due to pressure or an abnormality. The ulnar nerve is a long nerve that extends from the neck to the hand and is largely unprotected by bone or muscle, making injury highly common.
The area where the ulnar nerve runs closest to the elbow is known as the “funny bone” and contact with it usually results in an instant feeling of shock and numbness. When the ulnar nerve is compressed or damaged, such as in cubital tunnel syndrome, it can lead to a feeling of numbness or pain along the elbow, hand, wrist, or fingers.
The exact cause of cubital compression is often unknown, however compression often occurs at the elbow because it is the point where the nerve is stretched the most. For this reason, bending the elbow and or leaning on the elbow for extended periods of time can cause painful symptoms.
Fluid buildup, prior dislocations or fractures, and bone spurs within the elbow can also lead to cubital tunnel syndrome. Athletes such as baseball pitchers, construction workers using vibrating machinery, and people with diabetes are all at a higher risk of developing ulnar nerve entrapment.
People experiencing cubital tunnel syndrome usually feel numbness, tingling, and pain along their hands, wrists, and elbows. These symptoms are often felt when the elbow is bent or when pressure is applied to the ulnar nerve by an external force.
If left untreated, cubital tunnel syndrome can lead to muscle atrophy in the hand, a condition that cannot be reversed.
Prior to treatment, electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) testing is performed to assess the degree of pressure on the ulnar nerve. Usually, cubital tunnel syndrome is treated with non-invasive procedures unless the nerve and muscles have experienced a high amount of atrophy.
In minor cases, anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal medications, such as ibuprofen, are provided to reduce swelling and pain. Braces are used to prevent flexion at night and prevent further damage to the nerve.
Steroid injections are rarely used because they may damage the nerve however they are a possibility in extreme cases.
There are a few different surgical options available, including:
Cubital tunnel release surgery: in this surgery the nerve top is opened and divided to increase the size of the tunnel and reduce pressure.
Ulnar nerve anterior transposition: the nerve is moved to a new position between the muscles to prevent it from getting caught on the bones of the elbow.
Medial epicondylectomy: removes part of the medial epicondyle in order to prevent the ulnar nerve from getting caught on the bone.
Healthpointe has top-of-the-line physicians and surgeons who are trained to provide treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome and its associated symptoms.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Relief in Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County:
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments in and near Anaheim
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments in and near Colton
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments in and near Corona
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments in and near Garden Grove
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments in and near Irwindale
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments in and near La Mirada
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments in and near Long Beach
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments in and near Los Angeles
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments in and near Ontario
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments in and near Perris
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments in and near Temecula
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