Colorado Springs Orthopedic News

Cubital Tunnel: The Unheard of Disease

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome is often associated with repetitive movements such as construction or certain sports like baseball. Professional and long term amateur pitchers are often much more susceptible to cubital tunnel syndrome because of the way they hold and throw the ball.

It can also be caused by frequently leaning on the elbow on a hard surface such as a desk or table. Certain sleeping positions where the arm is bent under the body or pillow can also aggravate or compress the ulnar nerve, causing cubital tunnel syndrome. In rare cases it may be caused by abnormalities in the bone itself, which may be the result of bone growth or trauma to the elbow. Symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome may include:

  • Numbness and or pain in and around the elbow
  • Loss of grip or hand strength
  • Hand deformity (claw like hand)
  • Muscle wasting in the hand
  • A decrease in the ability to pinch the thumb and forefinger
  • Weakness in the ring and little fingers
  • Tingling, numbness and or prickling sensations in the ring and little fingers

Tests to diagnose cubital tunnel syndrome usually include a physical exam and nerve condition tests such as electromyogram (EMG), which measures the speed of electrical impulses when the muscles are tensed and in use. A trained orthopedic specialist can determine if any damage is present and to what degree. Treatment can range from supportive care such as bracing, rehabilitation and rest, to surgery. Depending on the extent of the damage, the healing process can take anywhere from weeks to several months to complete.

At Colorado Center of Orhtopaedic Excellence, we treat many different orthopedic conditions, including hand and wrist conditions. If you are experiencing the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome, or if you would like to make an appointment with one of our highly rated hand specialists, please do not hesitate to contact us at 719-623-1050 or use our easy online appointment request form.


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