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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.

Ulnar nerve entrapment: aftercare & rehab

You can normally go home on the day of surgery but make arrangements for transport home as you will be unable to drive.

A splint is applied after surgery to keep your elbow bent for 2-4 weeks, enabling the wound to heal and the ulnar nerve to reposition itself. For your comfort, your arm is normally rested in a sling.

Once you are home, rest and elevate your hand higher than your elbow in the sling for at least 48 hours to prevent swelling. You will be given pain relief medication to take for the first 2 to 4 days. In the unlikely event of you experiencing severe, ongoing pain, contact your Consultant.

Following ulnar release surgery, the bandage must be kept clean and dry to ensure the wound heals properly. The bandage and stitches are removed 10-14 days following your procedure. After the bandage has been removed you may shower with the wound uncovered but do not submerge the incision region for 3-5 days. No ointment or lotion should be applied on the wound.

As recuperation time varies from person to person, it could take at least 2 to 3 months for you to restore normal arm function. The numbness may stop right away, but in some instances, it could take 12-18 months to improve.

Physical therapy may be recommended by your Consultant to help you regain arm strength and motion, normally six weeks after surgery.