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What You Can Expect from Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Surgery

woman with elbow painIf you’re suffering from pain and numbness in your elbow, you may have a condition known as cubital tunnel syndrome.

In this blog, the orthopedic physicians at Mirza Orthopedics will explain more about this condition, as well as what you can expect from cubital tunnel syndrome surgery.

What is cubital tunnel syndrome?

Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the ulnar nerve (the “funny bone” nerve) becomes compressed or irritated.

This nerve is one of the three main nerves in your arm, running down from your neck, into a groove on the inside of your elbow, and down into your hand. It can become compressed at several places, including at the wrist, but the most common place is at the elbow. That’s because the nerve travels through a narrow space at this point and has little soft tissue to protect it. When the ulnar nerve is compressed at the elbow, it’s referred to as cubital tunnel syndrome.

Many times, the cause of a compressed ulnar nerve isn’t known, but it can be caused because of the following:

  • Pressure: Repeatedly leaning on your elbow – especially on a hard surface – can put pressure on the nerve.
  • Stretching: Keeping your elbow bent for long periods of time – such as during sleep or while talking on a cell phone – can stretch the nerve.
  • Fluid buildup: This can cause swelling that compresses the nerve.
  • Anatomy: In some cases, the ulnar nerve doesn’t stay in place and becomes irritated. The soft tissues over the nerve can also thicken.
  • Intensive physical activity: Certain repeated motions can result in a greater risk of cubital tunnel syndrome.

You can also have a greater chance of developing cubital tunnel syndrome if you’ve had a fractured or dislocated elbow in the past, bone spurs or arthritis of the elbow, or cysts near your elbow joint.

What are the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome?

Common symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome include the following:

  • Numbness and tingling in your fingers that can be intermittent but may occur when the elbow is bent
  • Pain and numbness in the elbow
  • A weakened grip and loss of coordination in your fingers
  • Muscle wasting – can occur if symptoms are severe or are left untreated
  • A claw-like deformity of the hand

What are the cubital tunnel syndrome treatment options?

Mild cases can sometimes be improved with the following:

  • Avoiding pressure on your elbow by leaning on it or using an armrest
  • Using a protective elbow pad during the day
  • Wearing a splint at night to keep your elbow from bending
  • Taking frequent breaks during physical tasks
  • Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce swelling if your symptoms have just started.

In other cases, cubital tunnel syndrome surgery may be needed to release pressure on the nerve. This procedure is known as a cubital tunnel release, and it may be needed if the nerve is significantly compressed or when your muscles have significant weakness or damage.

Why Mirza Orthopedics?

Mirza Orthopedics offers a cutting-edge endoscopic cubital tunnel release procedure that was developed by Dr. Ather Mirza. This is the only system to utilize a clear, small tube that protects the ulnar nerve while allowing the surgeon to have a clear view of the nerve throughout the cubital tunnel syndrome surgery. This technique, combined with a patented scope-mounting blade, allows the surgeon to be able to view and easily and precisely cut the compressive tissue surrounding the nerve.

Our innovative technique also provides the following advantages during recovery:

  • A smaller incision and scar when compared to open surgery
  • A faster return to normal range of motion and daily activities
  • Less trauma and pain

If you’re suffering from the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome, schedule an appointment today with Mirza Orthopedics in Long Island. We’ll recommend the best treatment options and can perform cubital tunnel syndrome surgery if needed to help you get relief.

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