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What Is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome? Information Provided by Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX

Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the nerve that runs from the neck to a hand (the ulnar nerve) is compressed. It is also known as ulnar neuropathy.

Several different things can cause cubital tunnel syndrome. For instance, the nerve can become compressed by a nearby bone or connective tissue. Or, the nerve can become irritated as a result of overuse (e.g., frequently bending the elbow).

What does cubital tunnel syndrome feel like?

At first, cubital tunnel syndrome may cause numbness or a “pins and needles” sensation on the outer side of the hand. If the nerve is not promptly decompressed, the numbness can gradually intensify or turn into a sharp, shooting pain. Severe ulnar nerve compression can cause a loss of muscle strength in the hand.

Treating cubital tunnel syndrome

Conservative therapies, such as medications and physical therapy, can help relieve the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome. If the compression is being caused by a specific type of activity (e.g., frequently leaning forward on the elbow), changing this behavior can help prevent the issue from getting worse. An elbow brace can also help keep the elbow straight during sleep, helping to limit additional irritation. However, these options typically cannot free the ulnar nerve if it is trapped within the cubital tunnel; surgery may be needed if this is the case.

At Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, we strive to help every patient find the most effective, yet least invasive, treatment options for their specific needs. In regard to cubital tunnel syndrome treatment, we offer a variety of strategies – both surgical and nonsurgical – that can help.

If you’d like to consult with one of the experienced elbow pain specialists at Advanced Orthopaedics, contact us today. We have several locations throughout Houston, TX, where you can turn for comprehensive cubital tunnel syndrome treatment.