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Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

    Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

    What is it?
    Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is caused by pressure on the ULNAR NERVE at the elbow.   Common complaints of people with cubital tunnel are of NUMBNESS of the ring and small fingers of the hand, ACHING PAIN on the MEDIAL ELBOW (inside of the elbow) and WEAKNESS of the hand. In severe cases the small muscles of the hand atrophy and the hand has a hollow look. 
    The most common place for compression of the ulnar nerve is at the elbow where the nerve can be compressed by a variety of structures, the most common being Osborne’s Ligament. Symptoms can also occur if the nerve is too loose and slips back and forth over the bone (subluxation) at the elbow.
    How is it treated?
    The best test to confirm the diagnosis is the EMG/NCV (electromyelogram/nerve conduction study) which tests the nerves ability to carry a standardized electrical impulse. The EMG/NCV is very good for detecting compression of the nerve but may not detect irritation of the nerve caused by subluxation.
    Options for treatment include night splinting, anti-inflammatories, therapy, cortisone injections and surgery. As with carpal tunnel syndrome many of the conservative treatments seem to be of temporary benefit. Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis.