Ulnar Neuropathy Information (Cubital Tunnel Syndrome)
Ulnar Neuropathy or Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a compression injury to the ulnar nerve near the elbow. This is the nerve that produces a jolt when you bump your "funny bone." The ulnar nerve passes through a ligamentous tunnel, called the cubital tunnel, as it passes along your elbow. Thickening around this tunnel compresses the nerve causing pain, numbness and weakness in your forearm and fingers.
Watch the video below to learn more about compression of the ulnar nerve in the cubital tunnel causing ulnar neuropathy.
Surgery for Ulnar Neuropathy at the Elbow
This outpatient procedure, performed under general or regional anaesthesia, alleviates compression of the ulnar nerve. This nerve travels along the inner side of the elbow and down to the hand. Cubital tunnel release is used to treat cubital tunnel syndrome. Dr Oehme has expertise in performing surgery on the ulnar nerve. For more information about ulnar nerve decompression watch the video below.
Risks Ulnar Nerve Surgical Decompression
More than 80% of patients will have an excellent outcome following ulnar nerve decompression with significant improvement or relief of symptoms. 10-20% of patients will have minimal or only minor improvement in symptoms with results dependent on age, duration of symptoms, degree of muscle wasting and the co-existence of neuropathy from another source. 1-2% of patients may suffer a significant or permanent complication including:
- Wound infection 1%
- Painful wound
- Scare formation
- Bleeding and haematoma formation
- Damage to the ulnar nerve, or one of its branches, causing pain, pins and needles, loss of feeling or weakness in the forearm, fingers and hand
- Medial cutaneous nerve of the forearm neuralgia
- Painful neuroma formation
- Complex regional pain syndrome (RSD) - 0.3%
- Persistence or worsening of symptoms
- Tendon injury
- Limited extension of elbow or medial elbow instability