What is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

Cubital tunnel syndrome, also known as ulnar nerve entrapment, occurs when the ulnar nerve is compressed or irritated at the inside of your elbow. The ulnar nerve is one of the three main nerves in your arm and runs from your neck, down your arm, and to your hand.

There are many possible causes of this syndrome, including anatomy, pressure on the elbow, snapping of the ulnar nerve over the medial epicondyle, and stretching. Certain individuals may be at risk for cubital tunnel syndrome, including those with:

  • Arthritis of the elbow.
  • Bone spurs.
  • Cysts near the elbow joint.
  • Past elbow fractures or desolations.
  • Swelling of the elbow joint.

Common symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome include:

  • Numb or tingling fingers make them difficult to move.
  • Intermittent numbness of the hand and fingers.
  • Pain on the inside of the elbow.

Treatment Options

In order to diagnose cubital tunnel syndrome, often electromyography (EMG) and/or nerve conduction studies (NCS) are needed.

Non-Surgical Treatments

Non-invasive treatment options are often the first choice when it comes to cubital tunnel syndrome, and may include:

  • Bracing or splinting.
  • Nerve gliding exercises.
  • Hand therapy.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).


In cases where non-surgical treatments are not effective, surgery may be required. Cubital tunnel release surgery involves cutting and dividing your ligament, making the cubital tunnel bigger, and decreasing pressure on the ulnar nerve. New tissue will then grow where the ligament was severed.

He and his staff were incredible. The physical therapy department and staff were equally wonderful to work with. I highly recommend the clinic, staff, physician, therapists to anyone having hand surgery and therapy!


Schedule a Consultation

Salem hand surgeons Dr. Keith C. Neaman, Dr. Peter Tsai, and Dr. Dustin Christiansen have extensive training and experience in the treatment of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. To schedule your personal consultation, please call Neaman Hand Surgery at 844-338-5445; left untreated, permanent dysfunction of the hand and fingers may result.

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