Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- Numbness and tingling in the ring and small finger
- Elbow pain
- Pain in the hand and fingers
- Waking at night with pain
- Increased symptoms with elbow flexion
What is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve, which runs through a tunnel in the elbow, becomes compressed. The condition can result from a variety of causes, including a previous fracture, swelling, arthritis, or having the elbow bent for excessive periods of time.
Mild cases of cubital tunnel syndrome may be treated with splinting of the elbow at night, avoiding aggravating activities such as sustained or repetitive elbow flexion, anti-inflammatories, and/or therapy. While non-surgical treatment can relieve mild cases of the condition, surgery may be necessary if it continues to worsen.
Eugene – Endoscopic Cubital Tunnel Release
Endoscopic Cubital Tunnel Release (minimally invasive)
During surgery, a small (approximately 1 inch) incision is made on the elbow through which an endoscope, or small video camera, is inserted to allow the surgeon to view the surgery on a monitor. Special instrumentation is used to free the nerve. This technique results in a smaller incision, less scarring, less pain, and faster recovery. Studies have shown that this technique results in return to normal activity/work in an average time of one week compared to 70 days for the open anterior transposition surgical technique.
Traditional Open Anterior Transposition of the Ulnar Nerve for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Traditional open surgery involves a large open incision in the arm to free the ulnar nerve, which is typically moved from the back to the front of the elbow. This is called anterior transposition. Some surgeons even remove part of the inner bone, which can result in elbow pain for many months following surgery. This older traditional method has many disadvantages including potentially large painful scars, scarring of the ulnar nerve which can cause new areas of compression, long recovery times, and sometimes even limited elbow motion.