Cubital Tunnel Syndrome could be a condition that involves the pressure of the ulnar nerve, which might cause numbness or tingling sensation within the ring and little fingers, pain within the forearm and weakness in the hand. The ulnar nerve runs in an exceeding groove on the inner aspect of the elbow. Numbness and tingling within the hand and fingers are common symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome.
In most cases, Cubital tunnel syndrome relief by managed with conservative treatments like changes in activities and bracing. If conservative programs do not improve your symptoms, or if the nerve compression is leading to muscle weakness or damage in your hand, your physician may suggest surgery.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Causes
Most times of cubital tunnel syndrome does not know the exact cause. The ulnar nerve is particularly at risk of compression at the elbow because it should travel through a narrow space with a limited soft tissue to guard it. There are a few matters of this ulnar nerve problem. These include:
- Pressure: The nerve has little padding over it. Direct pressure can press the nerve.
- Stretching: Holding the elbow bent for a long time can stretch the nerve. This can happen during sleep.
- Anatomy: Occasionally, the ulnar nerve does not stay in its place and snaps back and forth over a bony bump as we move the elbow. Repeated snapping can inflame the nerve.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Cubital tunnel syndrome can induce pain, tingling sensation and/or weakness. It usually feels Pins and needles in the ring and small fingers. Numbness and tingling within the ring finger and little finger are common symptoms of ulnar nerve entrapment.
Usually, these manifestations come and go. It happens more often when the elbow is the curl, such as when driving or holding the phone. Some individuals wake up at night because their fingers are numb.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis & Treatment
Your physician can ask you about your symptoms and examine you. Your physicians might test you for other medical problems like diabetes or thyroid disease. Sometimes, nerve testing (EMG/NCS) may require seeing how much the nerve and muscle are being affected. This test also checks for other problems such as a pinched nerve in the neck that can induce similar symptoms.
Unless your nerve compression has provoked a lot of muscle wasting, your physician will most likely first suggest nonsurgical treatment.
If your symptoms have just started, your doctor may recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, to help reduce swelling around the nerve. Although steroids are effective anti-inflammatory medicines, steroid injections are generally not used because there is a chance of damage to the nerve.
Your physician may impose a padded brace or splint to wear at night to keep your elbow in a straight position. Some physicians think exercises to help the ulnar nerve slide through the cubital tunnel at the elbow and the Guyon’s canal at the wrist can develop symptoms. These exercises may further help prevent rigidity in the arm and wrist. A hand therapist can help you avoid pressure on the nerve.
Sometimes, surgery may be required to relieve the pressure on the nerve. This can comprise releasing the nerve, moving the nerve to the front of the elbow, and/or removing a part of the bone. Your doctor will talk to you about options. It sometimes needs therapy after surgery, and the time to recover can vary. Numbness and tingling may recover quickly or slowly. It may take many months for readjustment after surgery. Cubital tunnel symptoms may not entirely go away after surgery, specifically if symptoms are severe.