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Treatments

Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve is compressed in a tunnel which can be found on the inside of the elbow, near your “funny bone”. The earliest symptoms are usually characterised by a numbness or tingling in the little and ring fingers, the condition is exacerbated through arthritis or previous injury. 

Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve is compressed in a tunnel which can be found on the inside of the elbow, near your “funny bone”. This can cause numbness or tingling of the ring and little fingers which begins intermittently but in later stages can make the hand weak. Surgery is carried out to reduce pressure on the nerve and operations can include opening the roof of the tunnel, moving the nerve into a new location and widening the tunnel. Your surgeon will discuss the best operation for you.

Surgery can be carried out under general anaesthetic or you can choose to be awake during surgery under a local anaesthetic, and takes between an hour and 90 minutes including recovery time. You can usually go home the same day.

Surgery usually improves numbness and tingling although this can take several months.

Sometimes, patients can experience a temporary increase in symptoms for the first week after surgery, but this will ease over time. You may also experience bruising and swelling. It is advised that you wear bandages covering your hand past your elbow, you will be able to move your fingers, until your post-operation appointment. For two weeks after that you won’t be able to fully extend your elbow but you won’t need to wear a splint or brace.

As with all surgical procedures, there can be some risks. At The McIndoe Centre, we do everything we can to minimise risk of complications. Your surgeon will talk to you about any possible specific complications before you decide to have your operation.

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