Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome is like carpal tunnel syndrome except the numbness involves the small and ring finger. It too causes numbness and tingling and can wake someone up at night. In addition, weakness of the muscles in the hand can occur. This can cause weakness or a lack of coordination.

The condition is caused by compression of the ulnar nerve on the inside of the elbow. It is the same nerve that causes the symptoms of a “funny bone” when the inside of the elbow is struck. The nerve is compressed beneath a ligament at the elbow. The compression is exacerbated when you flex your elbow.

To treat the condition, you often will need to keep the elbow straight at night by wearing a splint. If muscle weakness is present or persistent numbness occurs, nerve tests can be performed to assess the degree of damage or compression. Surgery is reserved for cases in which symptoms fail to respond to conservative treatment or when there is significant compression, because this threatens future nerve function.

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