It doesn’t matter what type of orthopedic joint problem is there, such conditions are always debilitating. If not treated timely, they could become worse enough to require surgery for the treatment. Though fractures are common, muscle and nerve injuries are also noticed the most. In this post, we will be discussing a nerve injury that affects the elbow joint. 

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The condition that we are going to talk about here is cubital tunnel syndrome. Let’s see what it is. 

What is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

Cubital tunnel syndrome is characterized by the injury to the ulnar nerve that passes through the cubital tunnel in the elbow. If the nerve is pinched frequently or becomes compressed, this gives rise to a debilitating condition. It directly affects the gripping strength while causing intense pain, especially when the elbow is bent. 

It is important to consult an experienced orthopedic doctor for the treatment. 

What Are the Causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

There are a number of causes for the condition including often bending the elbow while making activities like pulling, lifting, or reaching, frequently leaning on the elbow, or the most obvious cause i.e., injury to the elbow.

In some cases, it is also seen that bone spurs, arthritis, and previous fractures or dislocations may also give rise to cubital tunnel syndrome. 

The cause remains unknown in many cases.

What Are the Symptoms of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

Some of the common symptoms that may be noticed in the case of cubital tunnel syndrome include:

  • Numbness and tingling in the hand or ring/little finger
  • Hand pain
  • Reduced grip strength due to weak muscles
  • Pain on the inside of the elbow 

Remember, the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome may be similar to other orthopedic problems like the Golfer’s Elbow. Hence, it is important to get the condition diagnosed correctly. 

How Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is Diagnosed?

Diagnosis is often made after analyzing the complete medical history of the patient. The healthcare service provider would do a physical examination to notice the areas and movements causing pain. Certain tests are also required to confirm the condition, and the tests ordered may include:

  • Nerve conduction test
  • Electromyogram (EMG)
  • X-ray

What is the Treatment for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

The diagnosis of the condition decides where the treatment should start. At first, it is important to stop all the activities that make the symptoms worse, like bending the elbow. To limit movement and reduce irritation, a foam brace or splint may be worn at night. An Elbow pad can protect the affected elbow from hard surfaces whereas anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed to relieve inflammation. Nerve gliding exercises may be helpful too. 

Steroid injections may be applied when none of the above-mentioned methods work. In some cases, surgery may also be suggested. 

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