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Ulnar nerve entrapment

Ulnar nerve entrapment

There are several possible causes for cubital tunnel syndrome. The condition may occur in those who lean on their elbows a lot, in people who bend their elbows often when reaching, lifting or pulling, or it can be the result of injury or trauma. Other common medical conditions can increase the likelihood of ulnar nerve entrapment, such as arthritis, previous fractures or dislocations, or bone spurs.

Ulnar nerve release surgery or cubital tunnel release, is a procedure to treat the symptoms associated with ulnar nerve entrapment, by reducing this pressure on the ulnar nerve.

What is ulnar nerve entrapment?

The ulnar nerve is one of the main nerves in the arm. It travels down the neck to the fingers through the cubital tunnel which is a narrow space in your elbow colloquially known as the “funny bone.” If you’ve knocked this sensitive spot on your elbow, you’ll know it. When nearby tissue puts pressure on the cubital tunnel, it irritates the ulnar nerve and we call this cubital tunnel syndrome, or ulnar nerve entrapment. 

Common symptoms of ulnar nerve entrapment

In general, the signs and symptoms will appear gradually and progress to a point where you’ll need to seek medical attention. If left untreated, ulnar nerve entrapment can lead to permanent nerve damage in the hand so it’s important to seek help from a Specialist before the condition progresses too far. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling or a ‘pins and needles’ sensation in the elbow
  • Tingling or a ‘pins and needles’ sensation in the ring or little finger
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lack of muscle control in the fingers

Causes of ulnar nerve entrapment (cubital tunnel syndrome)

There are several possible causes for cubital tunnel syndrome. The condition may occur in those who lean on their elbows a lot, in people who bend their elbows often when reaching, lifting or pulling, or it can be the result of injury or trauma. Other common medical conditions can increase the likelihood of ulnar nerve entrapment presenting in a person, such as arthritis, previous fractures or dislocations, or bone spurs.

How is ulnar nerve entrapment diagnosed?

Our upper limb Specialists in London are experts in treating ulnar nerve entrapment. Your Schoen Clinic Consultant will discuss your circumstances, carry out a thorough physical examination and may also order an electromyography nerve conduction test. This procedure involves inserting electrodes into muscles and on your skin to assess the location of nerve damage and the severity of the condition.

Your Consultant will recommend the most suitable treatment to achieve the best possible outcome from your care. If nonsurgical options fail to resolve the issue, our leading Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons have extensive experience in treating ulnar nerve entrapment with ulnar nerve release surgery, so you can rest assured you’re in safe hands. Ulnar nerve release surgery can eliminate or at least improve comfort and mobility by relieving pain and numbness, and prevent further nerve damage.