Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

This is where a nerve called the Ulnar nerve becomes trapped at the elbow (your “funny bone”).

It is a condition far less common than the nerve trapped at your wrist (Carpal tunnel syndrome). The ulnar nerve is very important for the function of your hand. It contributes greatly to your overall grip strength and also to the feeling in your little and ring fingers. Pressure on the nerve at the elbow may manifest itself as weakness in the hand or forearm, numbness and pins and needles or a combination of both. Pain may be a feature of a trapped nerve. Symptoms are usually worse at night.

Pressure On The Nerve


Surgery involves releasing tight structures at the elbow to relieve the pressure on the nerve. It may be necessary to move the nerve to a new position (transposition of the nerve) but this is decided at the time of the surgery. The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic as a day case procedure.

The operation is designed to relieve symptoms and improve them over time. Recovery is variable but most people achieve better sleep in the first few days. The numbness and the strength take many weeks or even months to recover.

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