Skip to main content

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome and Other Ulnar Neuropathies

Shane L. Larson, MD and Alexander P. Houser, DO Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Compression of the ulnar nerve on the medial aspect of the elbow where it enters the cubital tunnel results in cubital tunnel syndrome (CuTS). Elbow pain, loss of grip strength, and ...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Nocturnal elbow pain; medial elbow pain

  • Paresthesias along medial forearm, wrist, and 4th and 5th digits

  • Paresthesias: intermittent at first then more constant

  • History of elbow trauma

  • Rep...

TREATMENT

  • Mild CuTS can often be treated without surgery. Consider surgery if no change after 3 months.

  • If provocative causes can be identified and avoided, some recovery is likely.

  • Patients with progre...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

  • In severe cases, the nerve damage may be permanent.

  • Patients with symptoms lasting >6 months have a worse prognosis.

DIET

No restrictions 

PATIENT EDUCATION

REFERENCES

1
Osei DA, Groves AP, Bommarito K, et al. Cubital tunnel syndrome: incidence and demographics in a national administrative database. Neurosurgery.  2017;80(3):417–420. {L-End} [View Ab...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Dy CJ, Mackinnon SE. Ulnar neuropathy: evaluation and management. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med.  2016;9(2):178–184.

  • Shah CM, Calfee RP, Gelberman RH, et al. Outcomes of rigid nigh...

SEE ALSO

Epicondylitis 

CODES

ICD10

  • G56.20 Lesion of ulnar nerve, unspecified upper limb

  • G56.22 Lesion of ulnar nerve, left upper limb

  • G56.21 Lesion of ulnar nerve, right upper limb

  • S54.00XA Injury of ulnar nerve at forearm leve...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Elbow flexion decreases depth of cubital tunnel, compressing the ulnar nerve, and contributing to CuTS.

  • Sleeping with the elbow bent and arm overhead can exacerbate symptoms.

  • Improper po...

Subscribe to Access Full Content

Sign Up for a 10-Day Free Trial

Sign up for a 10-day FREE Trial now and receive full access to all content.

×