What is Cubital Tunnel Release?
Cubital tunnel release is a surgical procedure that decompresses a pinched ulnar nerve and relieves associated symptoms such as pain, weakness or numbness in the fingers. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and the steps used to perform the procedure are:
- A small incision is made on the inside of the elbow
- Tendons and muscles are carefully moved to expose the ulnar collateral ligament
- A tiny blade is used to cut the ligament and decompress the nerve
The incision is carefully closed and sterilely dressed. A soft dressing is wrapped around the elbow for comfort. Total procedure time is approximately 30-45 minutes. A family member or friend drives the patient home after they are awake and alert. Symptom relief occurs very quickly after surgery because the nerve is no longer compressed.
What Does Cubital Tunnel Release Treat?
Cubital tunnel syndrome is entrapment of the ulnar nerve at the area where it passes the elbow bone. The cubital tunnel, which is a tunnel of tissue, presses against the nerve and in turn, causes the following symptoms in the ring and little fingers:
- “Falling asleep” sensation
Cubital tunnel release may be recommended when symptoms do not respond to nonsurgical treatment options.
Patients who experience the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome should make an appointment with our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Hand and Wrist Specialist Dr. Clint Ferenz. A medical history and physical examination will be used to help make an accurate diagnosis and create an effective treatment plan.
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