Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatment in Northern Indiana
What is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?
Cubital tunnel syndrome, also called ulnar nerve entrapment, happens when your ulnar nerve gets swollen or squeezed at the inside of your elbow.
Your arm has three main nerves: the median nerve, the ulnar nerve, and the radial nerve. The ulnar goes from your neck, down your arm, and into your hand.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Cubital tunnel syndrome can make the inside of the elbow hurt and ache. But most of the signs and symptoms show up in your hand.
- The ring finger and little finger feels numb and tingly. Most of the time, these signs come and go. When the elbow is bent, like when driving or carrying the phone, they happen more often. Some people get up in the middle of the night because their fingers are cold
- The feeling of "falling asleep" in the ring finger and little finger, especially when the elbow is bent. In some situations, it might be harder to move your fingers in and out or to move things around
- Weakened grip and trouble with finger balance, making it hard to type or play an instrument, for example. Most of the time, these symptoms show up when nerve compression is severe
- If the nerve is very tight or has been tight for a long time, the hand muscles can waste away. When this happens, muscle loss can no longer be stopped, which is why it’s important to see your doctor when symptoms begin
What Causes Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?
Some of the common possible causes of this condition include but are not limited to:
- Anatomy can cause the tissues around the nerve to be thicker, or there may be extra muscles around it, which can stop the nerve from working properly
- Pressure caused by certain movements of the elbow, like resting on an armrest for a long time, which may press on the nerve
- Your ulnar nerve may snap over other tissue, causing irritation
- Overstretching the nerve, like when you are sleeping at night with your elbow bent for a long time
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
Cubital tunnel syndrome can be treated both with and without surgery. Most of the time, it's best to start with non-invasive treatments. However, if these treatments do not help your symptoms, your next option may be elbow surgery. Nonsurgical treatments include:
- Bracing or splinting - A padded brace or splint might help keep your elbow straight if you wear it while you sleep
- Nerve-gliding exercises - This may help your ulnar nerve move through the cubital tunnel more quickly. These movements might also keep your arm and wrist from getting stiff
- Hand therapy - A hand therapist might help you learn how to avoid putting pressure on your ulnar nerve
- Medications - Ibuprofen and other drugs like it might help. They can lessen the pain from cubital tunnel syndrome and reduce the swelling around your nerve
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome in Michiana
Contact the skilled and experienced orthopedic doctors and nurses at OSMC to find out what can be done about your elbow pain. You can call OSMC at (574)319-1675 or make an appointment online to come see us at one of our many locations.
OSMC Elbow Specialists