Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome is sometimes referred to as ulnar neuropathy or “Tardy Ulnar Palsy”. It results from compression of the ulnar nerve around the elbow. The compression of the ulnar nerve can be in the funny bone region of the elbow. It can be from a tight fibrous band near or just above or below the elbow itself.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Patients usually experience numbness and tingling along the little finger and part of the ring finger. This might be accompanied by a feeling of weakness and more rarely muscle wasting.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis

The diagnosis of cubital tunnel syndrome is to perform a nerve conduction study. This is done to patients with the above symptoms but with the absence of any neck pain or shooting pains down the arm. These additional symptoms may indicate a different condition.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

When the symptoms are mild and there are no significant signs on examination, it is reasonable to try conservative treatment. This includes a trial of physiotherapy.

Surgical decompression is recommended if:

  • symptoms are persistent despite conservative treatment
  • symptoms are bothersome at the initial presentation

Surgery is usually done under a short general anaesthetic. A curvilinear incision is made around the elbow to decompress the nerve.

Click here to return to the peripheral neuropathy page.

To make an appointment with one of our neurosurgeons, please call 03 9329 4761.

Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons logo
Neurosurgical Society of Australasia logo