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Printed at: 06:12:48 / 25-09-2021

Hand Therapy Unit: Cubital Tunnel Information Sheet

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What is Cubital Tunnel syndrome?

Cubital tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the ulnar nerve, one of the three nerves which supply sensation to the hand.

The ulnar nerve travels from the neck, down the arm and into the hand. As it enters through the forearm, behind the elbow it passes through the cubital tunnel which is formed by the medial epicondyle (“the funny bone”) and the muscles and ligaments surrounding this bone. Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when the above area becomes irritated and pressure is place on the nerve.
The symptoms primarily involve numbness and tingling in the ring and little fingers, which are worsened when the elbow is bent. Some people also may feel a dull ache over the elbow or a loss
of strength.

How do I know if I’ve got cubital tunnel syndrome?
Diagnosis can be made through a description of symptoms and diagnostic tests. Your GP may wish to discuss with you a possible referral to an Orthopaedic Consultant and it may also be suggested
that you have nerve conductions studies done.

What is the treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome?
Activities that require frequent bending of the elbow or leaning on the elbow can cause cubital tunnel syndrome and therefore stopping these movements can reduce or even stop your symptoms.
If this does not work or your nerve conduction studies show severe damage to the ulnar nerve surgery may be required to stop the continuing damage to the nerve. This involves “decompressing”
the nerve to prevent it being stretched when the elbow is bent.

Hand Therapy Treatment
There is no hand therapy treatment that can effectively treat cubital tunnel syndrome.