Also known as ulnar nerve entrapment, this condition occurs when the ulnar nerve, which travels from the neck to the fingers, becomes compressed in the cubital tunnel at the back of the elbow.
This condition is caused by compression of the ulnar nerve due to swelling and irritation. It can happen to people who have arthritis, bone spurs or previous elbow injuries. It is aggravated by resting the elbows on top of a hard surface. Some cases, however, have no discernable cause.
Cubital tunnel syndrome creates the same painful tingling sensation as hitting the “funny bone;” both conditions are caused by irritation of the ulnar nerve as it passes through the elbow. Typical symptoms include aching on the inside of the elbow, a weak grip, and numbness and tingling in the hand or fingers.
Doctors diagnose this condition in several ways: by performing nerve conduction tests, electromyography (EMG), and x-rays to check for arthritis and bone spurs. Our board-certified doctor will also do a thorough physical examination.
This condition often responds well to conservative methods like resting the elbow, splinting and bracing, using elbow pads, anti-inflammatory medications, and special exercises.
If these measures fail, your doctor will discuss surgery options such as cubital tunnel release surgery.
If you are experiencing persistent pain, tingling, or weakness from cubital tunnel syndrome, contact Orthopedic Specialists. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained doctors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of all elbow conditions.