Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (Ulnar nerve compression)

What is it : The ulnar nerve (funny bone nerve) travels on the inside part of your elbow (cubital tunnel) and continues down the forearm to provide feeling to your little finger and half your ring finger. It also supplies the important small muscles of your hand. There are several areas around the elbow which can pinch and squash the ulnar nerve and this will cause a shooting pain or pins and needles to your little finger. If you leave this condition untreated then the muscles in your hand will become wasted and you will lose strength.

Management : You may need an x-ray of your elbow and a nerve conduction study to rule out some causes and to confirm the area that the nerve is being pinched. Often the best management for cubital tunnel syndrome is to release the nerve so it is no longer being squashed or compressed. We do this using a small cut and the use of a camera. This is the endoscopic ulnar nerve release or endoscopic cubital tunnel release.

Post-operative : You will be in a sling for comfort after the operation but you will be allowed to come out of the sling for simple movement of your elbow. We check the wound for you at 1 week after the operation. It may take 6 to 12 months for your nerve to recover and even longer for the muscles to improve.