The ulnar nerve provides sensation to the forearm as well as the fourth and fifth finger. It also stimulates the flexor muscle in the hand, which allows it to bend and move.
Ulnar Nerve Entrapment Diagnosis and Treatment at Inspira
Because the ulnar nerve spans the entire length of your arm, there are many places along the nerve that can become compressed or irritated. When compression occurs, it is called ulnar nerve entrapment.
One of the most common conditions affecting the ulnar nerve is cubital tunnel syndrome, and it occurs when your ulnar nerve is damaged at the elbow. Similar to other injuries that impact the ulnar nerve, cubital tunnel syndrome can cause:
- Numbness and tingling in the ring and pinky fingers
- Weakened grip
- Pain or tenderness in the elbow
- Difficulty using fingers properly
- Sensitivity to cold temperatures
If you experience any of these symptoms for a prolonged period of time, make an appointment with your Inspira doctor. Depending on the results of your physical exam, your doctor may conduct other tests, such as X-rays or nerve conduction studies, in which small needles are inserted into surrounding tissue to test nerve response.
Conservative treatments including medication, elbow braces and physical therapy often work in controlling symptoms. If these methods fail, you may need surgery. Common procedures include:
- Cubital tunnel release
- Ulnar nerve anterior transposition
- Medial epicondylectomy
Recovery from these procedures varies from person to person, but most patients can expect to make a full or nearly full recovery.