Ever wondered why you feel a lot of tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation in your hand? Do you feel that your grip has weakened? You could be suffering from cubital tunnel syndrome, a hand injury that involves increased pressure of the ulnar nerve. This nerve is the one responsible for giving sensation to your ring and little finger, and helps you create a strong hand grip.
This medical condition is the lesser known relative of the carpal tunnel syndrome, but can be just as devastating. It can develop from repetitive motions such as leaning on one’s elbow or sleeping with a hand under a pillow for an extended period of time. Any physical activity that involves pressure on the ulnar nerve can develop into a cubital tunnel syndrome.
Other factors that could lead to cubital tunnel syndrome are prior fracture and bone spurs to the elbow, as well as any activities that require the elbow to be flexed or bent for a very long time.
Treating Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
The symptoms will come and go initially, but could become persistent over time if it remains untreated. For the most part, the cubital tunnel syndrome can be managed using conservative treatments. Once a diagnosis has been made, a San Diego orthopedic doctor will prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the swelling. You can also prevent things from worsening by wearing protective elbow pad or a splint while sleeping to keep the elbow in a straight position. Nerve-gliding exercises can also be done to stretch and encourage movement within the cubital tunnel.
If any of these nonsurgical treatments do not work out, your doctor may consider outpatient surgeries such as a cubital tunnel release that aims to decrease the pressure on the ulnar nerve.