Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Specialist
Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition that involves compression or stretching of the ulnar nerve (the area of the forearm, near the elbow), which causes numbness in the ring finger and little finger, pain in the forearm that can be accompanied by weakness in the hand. This ulnar nerve runs on the inner side of the elbow.
Risk Factor Cubital Tunnel Sydrome
Several risk factors included in cubital tunnel syndrome, including: Head injury involving the upper limb; Age more than 40 years; Activities with certain movements such as throwing; Jobs that require prolonged bending of the elbow, such as a telephone operator; Rest the elbow area on a hard surface for a long time; Obesity.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Causes
There are several causes of this ulnar nerve disorder. Some of these include:
Pressure. The nerve has a little cushion on it. Direct pressure (such as leaning your arm against a backrest) can exert constant pressure on the nerves, this causes the arms and hands underneath not to get stimulation from those that supply them.
Stretch. Keeping your elbows bent for a long time can stretch the nerves behind your elbows. This often happens when we fall asleep, where sometimes the elbow is in a bent position for a long time.
Anatomic location. Sometimes the ulnar nerve is out of place. Repeated movements in the elbow can irritate the nerve. Sometimes the soft tissue around the nerve becomes thicker or there are extra muscles above the position of the nerve which makes nerve function disturbed.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Most people with cubital tunnel syndrome experience the following symptoms: Pain, tingling, and weakness in the forearm and several fingers; Weakness in muscle strength; Waking up at night because of pain or tingling in the hands or fingers, especially on the ring finger and index finger; Trouble folding and straightening elbows; Difficulty in moving the hand or fingers; Loss of muscle ability in the hands and fingers.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis
The diagnosis can be made by looking at the patient’s history and physical examination, followed by supporting examinations performed. Supporting checks that can be done include:
Ultrasound, to see the position of the ulnar nerve in the elbow area.
MRI, looking at structural changes of the ulnar nerve and its environment.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Complication
When not handled properly, cubital tunnel syndrome can cause weakness in the muscles and loss of sensation of pain and sensory palpation in the hands and forearms.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments
For the majority of cases of cubital tunnel syndrome, the doctor provides a splint or elbow pad to be worn all night, which are:
Elbow Protector. Hard elbow protectors can be used to keep the elbows in a fixed position, together with activity patterns to soften the elbow area.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Injection. The steroid injection given to help to reduce inflammation.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Surgery. Done if symptoms worsen and last for more than 6 months. If the symptoms get worse and do not react with a variety of treatments, the choice of surgery is important
When need to see doctor?
When you feel pain in the area of the elbow that extends to the forearm that is so annoying that you can’t even move your hand and lower fingers, you should see Cubital Tunnel Syndrome specialist to get the right treatment options.