Cubital tunnel syndrome: Signs, symptoms and treatment of this ulnar nerve injury

Cubital tunnel syndrome is another name for ulnar neuritis or ulnar nerve compression at the elbow. The cubital tunnel is the space behind the medial epicondyle (the “funny bone” prominence on the inside of your elbow) where the ulnar nerve runs.

Signs and symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome

Patients with cubital tunnel syndrome, or ulnar neuritis or ulnar nerve compression, often complain of numbness and tingling in the ring finger and little finger. You might also notice pain in those fingers or in the forearm on the side of the little finger. You might notice that the pain, numbness and tingling are worse when you keep your elbow bent, such as talking on the phone.

Cubital tunnel syndrome can cause elbow pain and numbness and tingling in the fingers.

Diagnosis

Doctors can suspect an issue with irritation or compression of the ulnar nerve based on your symptoms and physical exam tests. Your doctor might also order nerve conduction studies to determine if and where the ulnar nerve is compressed.

Also read:
Ulnar nerve compression
What can be done for ulnar nerve subluxation?

Treatment

Anti-inflammatory medications can sometimes help relieve symptoms. Occasionally wearing a brace or splint can help. Often if you have symptoms that aren’t getting better, surgery to release pressure on the nerve at the elbow can relieve pain and resolve the numbness and tingling.

If you have signs and symptoms consistent with cubital tunnel syndrome, watch the video to learn more about this nerve problem and treatment options.

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