(light music) >> My name is Sophia Strike, and I am one of the hand and upper extremity surgeons at Johns Hopkins. I see patients with problems of the hand and upper extremity as well as patients who have tumors as I have a specialty in orthopedic oncology.
(light music) Cubital tunnel syndrome is a pinching of the large never that goes behind your elbow. So, people often think of it as your funny bone nerve.
(light music) Cubital tunnel syndrome is caused by typically a combination of irritation and compression of the nerve.
Many people sleep with their elbow flexed all the way up at night and actually that traction can cause long-term irritation.
(light music) So nerve symptoms usually consist of a burning or electrical type pain and may cause numbness or tingling in the hand.
Patients may also feel the pain radiating from their elbow down to their hand or up towards their shoulder.
(light music) Carpal tunnel syndrome involves pinching of the nerve at the level of the wrist, whereas cubital tunnel syndrome is pinching of the nerve at the level of the elbow, and typically carpal tunnel will cause numbness and tingling in the three fingers on the thumb side of your hand whereas cubital tunnel will cause numbness and tingling of the two fingers on the small finger side of your hand.
(light music) Cubital tunnel syndrome can also be diagnosed from clinical examination, although when symptoms are not clear we may also send patients for nerve conduction studies.
(light music) The treatment options for cubital tunnel syndrome include nighttime splinting to prevent flexing the elbow all the way up as well as hand therapy for nerve gliding exercises. Some patients who start to have persistent numbness or weakness in their hand from long-term compression of the nerve may require surgical release of the nerve at the elbow.
(light music) Often surgery for cubital tunnel syndrome can be performed with anesthesia that numbs up your arm and does not require full general anesthesia. After surgery, most patients will have some soreness in their elbow, but can go home the same day. Does take somewhere around two to six weeks with usually some hand therapy to help getting motion back for patients to feel like they’re getting back to normal. In the long run, mild symptoms should recover fully, whereas severe symptoms may take longer or may not get back to 100%.
Dr. Sophia Strike discusses the causes, treatment and prognosis of cubital tunnel syndrome and the difference between cubital and carpal tunnel syndrome. Visit us: hopkinsmedicine.org/ortho