CUBITAL TUNNEL SYNDROME                                      KANDIL NOTES

INTRODUCTION

  • Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when one of the nerves that supplies the hand and forearm (ulnar nerve) gets compressed in the elbow area

  • Pressure builds in one of multiple compression points, leading to irritation of the nerve, which causes pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and forearm

  • It primarily affects the pinky and ring fingers, since those fingers are supplied by the ulnar nerve

  • 2nd: Most common compression neuropathy in the upper extremity, after carpal tunnel

  • CAUSES

  • Multiple repetitive elbow movements can predispose patients to cubital tunnel syndrome

  • Previous elbow injury or fracture and some medical conditions can lead to changes that increase the chance of developing cubital tunnel syndrome

  • SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Numbness and tingling in the pinky and ring fingers

  • Hand and forearm pain 

  • Difficulty gripping, dropping objects

  • Often worse at night if patient sleeps with elbow in flexion

  • TREATMENT​​

  • First line of treatment is night-time elbow brace immobilization, rest, and anti-inflammatories

  • Surgical release is the definitive treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome, if conservative management fails. Surgery is minimally invasive and involves releasing the areas near the elbow where the nerve is compressed. It is an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia and mild sedation. Recovery is quick

        PREVENTION

  • Avoid repetitive elbow motions, especially elbow flexion (ex. Constant cell phone use) 

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