Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (Ulnar nerve entrapment)
Ulnar nerve entrapment occurs as a result of a compression in the passageway, known as “tunnel” regions, that transports a nerve and is classified based on the location in which it occurs. As nerves transmit information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body, their entrapment can affect the functionality of the destination organ or body part.
The second most common type of nerve entrapment in the human body is known as Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, in which the ulnar nerve becomes compressed as the result of anatomic abnormalities in the area. The ulnar nerve is one of three major nerves in the arm spanning from the neck down into the hand. As a result of its length, the ulnar nerve can become compressed at numerous points including the collarbone, wrist or neck. The most common place for compression however, is the elbow. At the elbow the ulnar nerve runs down the cubital tunnel which runs underneath the medial epicondyle, commonly referred to as the funny bone. Sufferers of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome experience numbness and tingling in the ring finger and little finger, especially when the elbow is bent, and weakness when gripping objects.
Although it can be a painful and debilitating condition, there are numerous effective treatment options available for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, all of which are provided by Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.
Because Cubital Tunnel Syndrome can be aggravated by repetitive bending motions, Genesis Orthopedics & Sport Medicine may recommend a brace to limit the wrist’s range of motion and minimize the possibility of exacerbating the injury.
The objective of physical therapy in treating Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is to allow the ulnar nerve to move through the wrist’s cubital tunnel. To do this, stretching exercises to improve wrist flexibility and exercises to strengthen the hand muscles are performed in combination with the use of cold to reduce inflammation at the cubital tunnel.
An outpatient procedure that is performed by Genesis Orthopedics & Sport Medicine when necessary, a cubital tunnel release is minim ally-invasive and is effective in releasing the pressure placed on the ulnar nerve by the cubital tunnel.