Cubital tunnel syndrome involves compression of the ulnar nerve as it moves at the rear of the elbow.
What are the signs?
If an individual develops cubital tunnel syndrome, the ulnar nerve is crushed in one of the various sites in the rear part of the elbow.
The usual signs of the syndrome include:
- Tingling, pain and numbness in the small and ring fingers.
- Weakening of the hand muscles
- Symptoms can be felt if the elbow is bent for an extended period
An individual with the severe signs of cubital tunnel syndrome might be likely to drop objects or has difficulty with fine movements of the fingers.
A diagnosis of the syndrome is given after an assessment is carried out. An X-ray or other tests might be required if something abnormal is pressing on the nerve.
Management of cubital tunnel syndrome
The treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome typically starts with simple measures. In most cases, the condition will settle with a few measures such as:
- Placement of an elbow splint especially at night time
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Avoid leaning on the affected elbow
- Padding of the elbow during work or sports
In case the conservative measures fail, surgical intervention is necessary to relieve the pressure from the ulnar nerve. Since the nerve can be crushed in various locations behind the elbow, it is vital to locate where it is pinched or release the pressure from areas that are affected.