Patients in Naples and Bonita Springs, FL

One of the three main nerves in your arm, the ulnar nerve gives feeling to the pinky and ring fingers, while also controlling fine muscle movement in the hand. It travels beyond the elbow and into the cubital tunnel, a small passage on the inside of your elbow. The medial epicondyle, or funny bone, covers this nerve passage.

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Description

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve becomes entrapped, or pressured near the funny bone. It can become compressed and cause irritable symptoms. In many cases, the precise cause of cubital tunnel syndrome is unknown.

Symptoms

When you sleep on your arm for long periods of time, you may experience a tingling or numbing sensation. When the ulnar nerve becomes entrapped, these spells of numbness become chronic. Individuals with Cubital Tunnel Syndrome have difficulty gripping or moving their fingers. Symptoms of the syndrome are most noticeable when the arm is bent.

Over time, and if untreated, it can cause coordination difficulties as well as diminish the hand muscle. Patients who are at a higher risk for developing cubital tunnel syndrome are those who have had prior fractures, bone spurs, or swelling of the elbow, and those who take part in activities that require repetitive flexing of the elbow, like tennis players. Patients near Naples and Bonita Springs should contact Dr. Goldberg for assessment or treatment.

Treatments

Home remedies include avoiding excessive leaning or bending of the arm, and keeping your elbow straight while you are sleeping. Resting the nerve can alleviate some discomfort. However, if symptoms persist, surgery can provide relief. Cubital tunnel surgery frees the nerve and relieves pressure. In Naples, cubital tunnel treatment depends on each individual case. Sometimes the ulnar nerve is transposed (or moved); other times the cubital tunnel is cleared to provide more open space. Both methods work to free the impinged nerve.

Recovery

Most cubital tunnel surgeries are successful in relieving pain and numbness. Patients may be required to wear a splint for a few weeks after surgery. Although the incision may only take three weeks to heal, the nerve may take longer. Dr. Goldberg may recommend physical therapy to help you regain complete motion and strength in your arm, and will discuss with you when it is best to return to everyday activities. Patients near Naples and Bonita Springs can choose cubital tunnel relief with Dr. Goldberg.