Similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (also known as Ulnar Nerve Entrapment) occurs when the ulnar nerve in the arm becomes compressed or irritated. While the nerve can become compressed at different locations, such as the collarbone or as it comes out of the spinal cord in the neck, it most commonly occurs behind the elbow. This condition can cause severe pain, numbness, and muscle weakness.
Symptoms that may Require Cubital Tunnel Release Surgery
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact a medical professional to find out if they may require cubital tunnel release surgery.
- Numbness or tingling in the hand/small finger (pinky)
- Chronic and persistent pain in the hand or wrist
- No relief from non-surgical options such as pain relievers, or chiropractic therapy
Cubital Tunnel Release surgery is an outpatient procedure, in which an incision is made in the cubital tunnel in order to decrease pressure on the nerve and provide more room for the nerve to pass through.
- The ligament “roof” of the cubital tunnel is cut and divided to increase the size of the tunnel.
- After the procedure, the ligament begins to heal and new tissue grows across the division.
- The new growth heals the ligament, allowing more space for the ulnar nerve to slide through.
Recovery time varies from patient-to-patient, but typically requires the patient to wear a splint for a few weeks following the operation. Physical therapy exercises are recommended after the splint is removed, at which time we can discuss when it is safe to return to your normal activities.
Cubital Tunnel Release decreases pain, nerve tingling, and numbness. While most people are helped by this surgery, you may not be completely free of symptoms if you have been ailing from Cubital Tunnel Syndrome for a long time.
For a consultation with Dr. Belek to discuss if Cubital Tunnel Release is right for you, call (415) 968-9652 or contact us here.