Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Unlocking Relief for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Sufferers

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that arises from pressure or stretching of the ulnar nerve, which runs in a groove on the inner side of the elbow. This nerve controls sensations in your ring and little fingers and manages several muscles in your hand. Think of the ulnar nerve as an electrical cable passing through a tight space, the cubital tunnel. When this tunnel becomes constricted or the nerve is stretched, it can lead to numbness, tingling, and pain in the forearm and the ring and little fingers, commonly known as “falling asleep.”

This syndrome is often triggered by prolonged bending of the elbow, like holding a phone for a long time, leaning on your elbow for extended periods, or sleeping with your arm folded up. These positions can increase pressure on the ulnar nerve or stretch it, leading to the characteristic symptoms.

Initially, symptoms may come and go, but without treatment, they can become persistent and lead to weakness or clumsiness in the hand, making it difficult to perform tasks requiring fine motor skills, like buttoning a shirt or typing.

We Can Help

Diagnosis typically involves a physical exam and may include nerve conduction studies to assess how well the ulnar nerve is functioning. Treatment usually starts with conservative measures aimed at reducing nerve pressure. This might involve avoiding activities that cause symptoms, using elbow pads, or wearing a splint at night to keep the elbow straight.

In cases where conservative treatments don’t provide relief, or if there is significant nerve damage, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the nerve. This could involve releasing the nerve, moving it to a less confined space, or removing part of the bone to enlarge the cubital tunnel.

With appropriate management, most people recover from Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, although it’s important to address the condition early to prevent permanent nerve damage.