About Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

The ulnar nerve is an important nerve. The ulnar nerve starts in the neck and runs to the fingers. The ulnar nerve passes through the cubital tunnel—a narrow space on the medial (inside) part of the elbow. Cubital tunnel syndrome is compression of the ulnar nerve in the cubital tunnel.

Common Causes:

  • Chronic elbow pressure
  • Repetitive use of the elbow
  • Sleeping with your elbow bent

Symptoms of Cubital tunnel may include:

  • Tingling and/or numbness in the 4th and 5th fingers
  • Hand weakness
  • Elbow and/or forearm pain

When you arrive for your initial consultation, an Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) Hand Specialist will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing cubital tunnel syndrome, our experts will provide:

  • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
  • A physical examination
  • Multiple view x-rays ( to rule out a fracture) nerve conduction study and electromyography.

Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options treat most cases of cubital tunnel syndrome. Many treatment options are available. A customized treatment plan usually includes a combination of the following:

Rest & Ice

Quickly decrease nerve inflammation and pain.

Towel Wrapping

A soft towel placed between the elbow and a hard surface takes the pressure off the nerve.

Bracing

A day and/or night brace keeps the elbow straight and takes the pressure off the nerve.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Over-the-counter and prescription medications decrease inflammation and pain.

Physical Therapy

An OPA approved hand therapist can help you maintain your motion and function of the forearm, wrist, and hand.

When symptoms do not respond to nonsurgical treatment options, our physician may recommend surgery. A cubital tunnel release decompresses the nerve. Symptoms improve very quickly. A splint is worn after surgery. Physical therapy may be prescribed.

At OPA, our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Hand Specialists are experts in treating cubital tunnel syndrome.

If you are in pain and would like a treatment solution you should contact OPA to schedule an appointment at our location in Anchorage.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Hand & Wrist Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Owen L. Ala, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Christopher Manion, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.

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