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Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

What is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve gets pinched at the elbow by the fascia (ligament-like tissue). This occurs by bending the elbow or placing the elbow on a hard surface. It also occurs when working at a desk or while driving for long periods.

Symptoms of Cubital Tunnel

Tingling and numbness of the small finger and the ring finger

Common Causes of Cubital Tunnel

  • Sleeping with arms bent ‘fetal position’
  • Bending the elbow while talking on the phone and other activities of daily living
  • Resting the elbow on a hard surface for long periods of time

 

If left untreated

Continuous nerve compression can cause nerve damage which is irreversible and may require surgery

Negative effects of Cubital Tunnel

  • Inability to grip objects
  • Loss of sensation
  • Deformity of the ring and small finger (claw hand)

 

Treatment

Nighttime splinting strategies and/or day time modifications taught by a hand therapist