Cubital tunnel syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome is manifested through tingles and loss of sensation in half of the ring finger and the little finger, pain in the hand and forearm, weakening of the hand muscles. It develops because of the pressure on the ulnar nerve in the elbow area. With untreated patients it slowly turns into nerve deterioration and permanent loss of sensation and hand muscles. The diagnosis is formed based on the described symptoms and can be confirmed with an EMG examination.

TREATMENT

Cubital tunnel syndrome can be treated in a few ways, including change of activity, immobilization, anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections in the area where the nerve is being pressed on and surgical treatment.

SURGICAL TREATMENT

In our clinic this procedure is performed by an experienced surgical team, and the operation itself consists of cutting the structure in the elbow area which can be the source of the pressure on the nerve. The operation is carried through under general anesthesia or under block type anesthetics (the patient is awake the entire time of the operation and the hand is numb) and is painless for the patient. After releasing the nerve, it is left in the same place if it was a gentle pressure, and if it is a stronger pressure, the nerve is transferred in the front of the elbow, under the skin or inside the muscle. After the operation a drain is placed inside the wound and left there for two to three days.

RECOVERY

The final result of the operation depends on the course of the operation, the experience of the surgeon and his team, but to a significant extent, it also depends on conscientious and detailed postoperative monitoring and control.
To be sure of the success of the operation and wellbeing of the patient, we insist on regular check ups and everyday contact with the patient. We monitor our patient’s recovery completely, which is crucial for our patient’s health and the result of the operation.
The patient is usually discharged from the clinic the same day and is advised to rest with their arm put in a elevated position. The drain is usually removed the second or third day after the surgery and the stitches are removed two weeks following the surgery. Patients are usually capable to drive a week after the operation, and returning to their jobs greatly depends on the type of the job they do.

PROGNOSIS

Patients who didn’t permanently lose sensation and their hand muscles haven’t completely weakened before the operation have a better prognosis. These patients can expect a full recovery of their nerve function. Patients who have lost sensation and their hand muscles have weakened before the operation may experience the same symptoms permanently even after the surgery.

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Cubital tunnel syndrome