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Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Specialist

Ortho 1 Medical Group

Orthopedic Specialists located in La Jolla, CA & Chula Vista, CA

Elbow pain or tingling in your ring and little fingers are signs you have cubital tunnel syndrome. This condition needs early treatment to prevent permanent nerve damage and muscle wasting. At Ortho 1 Medical Group, the surgical team specializes in treatments like cubital tunnel release that ease your symptoms, restore function, and prevent complications. Call the office in San Diego, Chula Vista, La Jolla, and Coronado, California, today or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Q&A

What is cubital tunnel syndrome?

Cubital tunnel syndrome refers to having a pinched ulnar nerve in your elbow. The ulnar nerve travels down your arm and into your hand. Along the way, it passes through a narrow passageway in your elbow called the cubital tunnel, where it can be easily pinched.

What causes cubital tunnel syndrome?

A direct blow to your elbow, elbow arthritis, and bone spurs can compress the nerve. However, the top causes of cubital tunnel syndrome include:

Leaning on your elbow

If you lean on your elbow while working at your desk, eating, or during any other activity, you put significant pressure on the cubital tunnel and pinch the nerve.

Bending your elbow

Repeatedly bending your elbow or keeping your elbow bent for an extended time causes cubital tunnel syndrome.

What symptoms are caused by cubital tunnel syndrome?

Cubital tunnel syndrome causes pain on the inside of your elbow. It leads to symptoms in your ring and little fingers, including:

  • Numbness and tingling
  • Feeling like the fingers fell asleep
  • Difficulty moving the fingers
  • Weakened grip in the affected hand
  • Muscle wasting in the affected hand

Without treatment, the ulnar nerve is permanently damaged, and muscle loss can’t be reversed. For this reason, you should schedule an exam if you have severe symptoms or they last more than six weeks.

How is cubital tunnel syndrome treated?

Treatment for mild to moderate cases of cubital tunnel syndrome includes:

  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Wearing a brace or splint at night
  • Avoiding activities like leaning on your elbow

You might also need to learn nerve gliding exercises.

If your symptoms persist or you have muscle wasting and nerve damage, Ortho 1 Medical Group recommends one of the following procedures:

Cubital tunnel release

Your surgeon cuts the ligament in the top of the cubital tunnel, increasing the tunnel size and taking pressure off the nerve. The new tissues grow across the space as the ligament heals, creating a permanently larger cubital passage.

Ulnar nerve anterior transposition

This procedure moves the nerve, securing it in an area where it isn’t pushed against the bone when bending your elbow.

Medial epicondylectomy

Your surgeon can release the nerve by removing a small part of the bone that forms the cubital tunnel.

Don’t wait to get treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome. Call Ortho 1 Medical Group or book an appointment online today.