Cubital Tunnel Syndrome


This condition, also called "ulnar nerve entrapment," happens to the ulnar nerve in your elbow. This nerve travels along the inner side of your elbow and down to your hand. It's the nerve that makes the jolt you feel when you bump your "funny bone." With this condition, your ulnar nerve is compressed, stretched or irritated.


This problem is linked to a tight space in your elbow called the "cubital tunnel." Your nerve passes through this tunnel. Inside there is very little soft tissue to protect the nerve, and your nerve can be pressed, pinched or stretched. Cubital tunnel syndrome can develop if you tend to lean on your elbow a lot. It can happen if you sleep with your elbows bent. It can develop because of a problem with the anatomy of your elbow. And in many cases, your nerve becomes irritated and we aren't sure why.


Symptoms include numbness and tingling in your ring finger and little finger. When you bend your elbow for a long time, you may feel "pins and needles" in these fingers. Your hand may feel weak and clumsy.


Treatment options include medications, a brace or splint, and therapy. If these aren't helpful, you may need surgery. Your healthcare provider can create a plan that's right for you.