Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

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The cubital tunnel is a track through which the ulnar nerve travels along the inner aspect of the elbow in its way to supply sensation and muscles in the hand. Just like the carpal tunnel, the cubital tunnel is another site that a sensor and motor nerve to the hand can become compressed and cause pain, numbness, and the loss of hand strength. Symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome usually involve pain and hypersensitivity along the inner aspect of the elbow, numbness in the ring and little fingers and eventual loss of grip strength in the hand.
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Diagnosis of cubital tunnel syndrome is usually made by a combination of patient history, clinical exam and often diagnostic tests to evaluate hand function. Often an EMG diagnostic test is done to evaluate nerve function is needed. Treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome is frequently surgical and involves opening the tunnel along the elbow to decompress the nerve in the manner similar to how carpal tunnel release in performed in the wrist. The surgery is classically done under general anesthesia using a limited incision on the inner aspect of the elbow. Patients are limited in their activity for an average of two weeks postoperatively.