Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

A few aspects of our bodies can be regarded as intriguing in some sense.

Hearing someone laugh can cause you to laugh as well. The amusing sounds that sometimes accompany passing gas are amusing. It’s amusing when someone feels obligated to yawn after you yawn.

However, despite the fact that we’ve decided to call it that, your funny bone is almost never funny. We’ve all felt the tingling, jolting pain that comes with a strange bone strike. To be sure, it’s a different kind of suffering, but it’s not the kind of pain that any of us would find amusing.

A pins-and-needles feeling shooting up your arm is caused by an inflamed ulnar nerve. This nerve travels from the base of your skull to the tips of your fingers. Pain from a bruised “funny bone” normally subsides rapidly, but in certain cases the ulnar nerve can become injured, leading to chronic pain and reduced hand use. This is known as cubital tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome and associated nerve and elbow conditions are common places of misdiagnosis. We will go over the differences and the available treatments.

To Begin, Let’s Define Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

The ulnar nerve travels through the length of the cubital tunnel in the inside aspect of the elbow. You may thank bone, ligaments, and muscles for constructing this passageway. Pain occurs when there is inflammation or swelling of this part of the ulnar nerve. Tingling, pain, numbness, and/or paralysis in the ring and pinky fingers can be symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome, which can develop as a result of prolonged pressure on or damage to the nerves in this area.

Even though most persons with cubital tunnel syndrome don’t have a clear reason for their symptoms, he did note that the following groups of people may be more likely to experience them:

  • Occlusive disease of the elbow
  • Caused by osteoarthritis, spurs form on the elbow.
  • An ulnar nerve that is more prone to popping when the elbow is bent and straightened.
  • Jobs where the elbow must be bent or rested for long periods (ex: truck drivers)
  • Involvement in repetitive, overhead actions

Since diabetes makes the nerves more susceptible to compression, it is also recognized that diabetes increases the chance of ulnar nerve disorders, and really all nerve problems.

The Obvious Distinction

The ulnar nerve is affected by cubital tunnel syndrome, whereas the median nerve is affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. There is an obvious distinction there. For instance, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, your larger fingers will hurt (thumb, index, middle and ring). Furthermore, the cubital tunnel syndrome only affects the ring and pinky fingers.

Many patients mistakenly diagnose themselves with carpal tunnel. An incorrect diagnosis in the outset is usually to blame for this.

The assumption that cubital tunnel syndrome is the cause of any pain experienced in the elbow is another prevalent error.

Cubital tunnel syndrome is a rare cause of elbow discomfort, while arthritis or tennis/elbow golfer’s are more typical causes of pain in the elbow.

Through doing a nerve conduction examination, a precise diagnosis can be made. Your forearm nerves’ electrical activity is monitored in this study to detect any dysfunction. The scratch collapse test, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasound analysis are also often used today.

What Is the Most Effective Treatment Option?

Using padded armrests and elbow splints, as well as limiting your activity level in the affected area, can help alleviate mild cases. Surgical intervention may be necessary to restore function in more severe cases, including those in which the patient experiences not just numbness but also weakness in the affected hand.

Finding out what’s causing your hand and elbow pain is the first step toward getting better. Thankfully, North Florida Hand and Wrist’s team can examine your hands and determine the best course of treatment for your unique condition. If you need a skilled orthopedic hand specialist in Jacksonville, contact us right away.