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Cubital Tunnel Release
Dr. James Chen, M.D. - In San Francisco, CA

A surgical procedure performed to relieve symptoms caused by entrapment of the ulnar nerve at or near the elbow. An incision is made at the elbow along the course of the nerve. A careful dissection is performed to expose the nerve. The cubital tunnel and several areas where the nerve is commonly trapped are examined. A ligamentous covering of the cubital tunnel is cut to free the nerve. Any other areas of entrapment identified during the surgery are also released.

Common Questions about Cubital Tunnel Release

What is cubital tunnel syndrome?

Cubital tunnel syndrome, also known as ulnar nerve entrapment, is when the ulnar nerve becomes compressed, resulting in tingling and numbness in the hand and fingers.

What causes cubital tunnel syndrome?

Cubital tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the ulnar nerve, which is relatively unprotected near the elbow. In certain individuals, the nerve can slide in and out of place as the elbow is bent and straightened, irritating the nerve. Other causes of compression can be fluid buildup or leaning on the elbow for too long.

What are the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome?

The most common symptoms include tingling and numbness in the hand and fingers. Other symptoms include decreased finger coordination and a weaker grip. Over time, muscle wasting of the hand can also occur.

Are there non-surgical options for cubital tunnel syndrome?

NSAIDs, bracing, and physical therapy are non-surgical options to treat Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

When should a Cubital Tunnel Release be performed?

If non-surgical treatment is not relieving your symptoms, surgical options such as a cubital tunnel release may be considered.

How is a Cubital Tunnel Release performed?

An incision is made at the elbow and the nerve is exposed. The roof of the cubital tunnel is then cut, freeing the nerve and decompressing it.

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