Cubital Tunnel Release

By Diana Cratem, CHT/OT

What is Cubital Tunnel Release?

Cubital Tunnel Release is a surgical procedure that alleviates pressure/irritation of the ulnar nerve as it travels through the elbow. Often times patients experience irritation of this nerve. This is due to entrapment or repetitive stretching. Anatomically the ulnar nerve travels down the upper arm, wraps around the medial part of the elbow and enters the forearm. Due to little padding in the elbow area, the nerve often times gets compressed and/or stretched. This causes irritation. Problems can arise from a one time trauma to the elbow or from repetitive stretching of the nerve over time.

Cubital tunnel syndrome may result in numbness or muscle loss.

Cubital tunnel syndrome, inflamed ulnar nerve image.

The nerve irritation can lead to sensations of numbness or tingling in the arm or hand. Often it results in pain. The identification of Cubital tunnel problems are by an orthopedic doctor during an office examination. Sometimes nerve conduction tests quantify the amount how much nerve compression.

Treatment of Cubital Tunnel 

Treatment to protect the nerve initially may involve the use of a pad to the elbow. This treatment is to avoid full elbow flexion with daily activities.

Sometimes there is a requirement of surgery to the cubital tunnel to relieve the pressure on the nerve. This surgery is a Cubital Tunnel Release. Sometimes the nerve is moved or repositioned to a more protected area of the elbow to avoid continued irritation of the nerve.

A simple Cubital Tunnel Release consists of incising the cubital tunnel at the elbow. This eliminates the restriction or pressure that was irritating the nerve. As a result, recovery from this procedure usually includes:

  • edema control
  • range of motion exercises
  • eventually strengthening of the muscles in elbow, wrist and hand

To learn more, go to:  Cubital Tunnel Syndrome and Arthritis Overview.

JOI and JOI Rehab

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.

You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.

To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.

By: Diana Cratem, CHT/OT

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