Cubital tunnel syndrome affects many people who overly use or lean against their elbows. This cause a tingly feeling in the pinky finger and half of the ring finger. This pins-and-needles feeling causes discomfort and affects people’s daily activities. Read on to discover various cubital tunnel syndrome treatment options.
What is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?
Cubital tunnel syndrome is also known as ulnar nerve entrapment. This condition occurs when the ulnar nerve gets trapped in the space inside the elbow near the medial epicondyle. The space is referred to as the cubital tunnel.
The ulnar nerve becomes irritated when you overuse your elbow or lean on it consistently for an extended period. As a result, you may experience a feeling of pins and needles in the ring and pinky fingers.
Symptoms of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome presents several signs and symptoms, including:
- The telltale tingling sensation in the little and ring fingers of the affected hand
- Pain and soreness around the inside of the affected elbow due to the compression or displacement of the nerve around the medial epicondyle.
- Growing numbness in the hand and fingers served by the affected ulnar nerve.
- Reduced manual dexterity due to the interrupted ulnar nerve function
- Weaker grip because the affected nerve controls arm muscles required for a firm grip
If you experience these symptoms, you should consult your doctor before the condition progresses to a more severe stage.
Treatment Options for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome might significantly affect how people execute their daily tasks. After all, losing feeling in your fingers makes it difficult to work. As a result, your doctor can run a cubital tunnel syndrome test to gauge the severity of the condition.
This enables your doctor to present various effective options to treat and manage the condition.
- Rest: Bending the elbow worsens the condition because it puts pressure on the ulnar nerve. Therefore, it’s important to rest the elbow to promote healing and reduce inflammation around the joint.
- Arm / Elbow exercises: Arm and elbow exercises help in improving the general movement of tissues around the elbow. Your doctor can recommend tendon glides and ulnar nerve glide exercises for you to repeat three to four times a day.
- Brace / Splint: A cubital tunnel syndrome brace restricts elbow movement, preventing further irritation and aggravation of the condition. The rigid-material brace keeps the elbow straight, making it particularly effective for avoiding elbow bending during sleep.
- Medication: Your doctor can prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medicines provide relief from pain in the elbow. In addition, they reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Corticosteroid injections: In some cases, your doctor can recommend injecting corticosteroids directly into the affected area in the elbow. This promotes faster healing by bringing the inflammation down and reducing the irritation around the ulnar nerve.
- Cubital tunnel surgery: In severe cases, cubital tunnel syndrome treatments become more invasive. If non-surgical interventions offer no relief, your doctor might recommend cubital tunnel surgery.
The procedure lasts between half an hour to 45 minutes, with full recovery taking about six weeks. However, you can return to work within two weeks.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatments at the Harley Clinic
If you’re looking for effective relief from cubital tunnel syndrome, book a consultation with a hand and upper arm specialist at The Harley Clinic.