Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, also known as ulnar nerve entrapment, is a condition resulting from a compression of the ulnar nerve – one of the main nerves in the arm. Although nerve compression can occur in several areas across your arm, the most common place for this condition is the elbow. The ulnar nerve travels through a narrow tunnel of tissue in the elbow, called the cubital tunnel, and can become entrapped when your elbow is bent.
The ulnar nerve controls the functionality of your little finger, part of your ring finger, as well as some of the muscles in your hand responsible for finer movements. In addition, it controls the muscles in your forearm that are responsible for having a strong grip. When nerve compression occurs, it can weaken your ability to move your fingers and grasp objects. In severe cases, it can lead to muscle wasting in your hand due to long periods of disuse.
There are a number of causes for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, including:
- Keeping your elbow bent for several hours, such as during sleep.
- Leaning on your elbows, which places excessive pressure on the ulnar nerve.
- A direct hit to the elbow during a fall or sporting activity.
Early symptoms of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome can generally be treated with home remedies involving the avoidance of bending your elbow for prolonged periods of time. If symptoms persist for over 6 weeks and/or become severe, however, it is crucial to see a doctor in order to prevent complications and thus avoid surgery.
To ensure that you are receiving the highest level of treatment for your nerve compression symptoms, your ideal choice is to see a specialist in musculoskeletal conditions. Coastal Orthopedics Sports Medicine & Pain Management is home to some of the leading orthopedic physicians in Bradenton, FL, and we welcome you to visit one of our convenient locations for any and all issues concerning your elbows.