Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition where there is increased pressure on the ulnar nerve in your elbow. The ulnar nerve controls muscles and feeling in the hand. Cubital tunnel syndrome may be caused by direct pressure, stretching, or decreased blood flow to the ulnar nerve.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Medicines:

  • NSAIDs: These medicines decrease swelling and pain. NSAIDs are available without a doctor's order. Ask your primary healthcare provider which medicine is right for you and how much to take. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems if not taken correctly.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Avoid putting pressure on your elbow: Certain positions put pressure on the ulnar nerve in your elbow. Leaning or sleeping on your bent elbow can make your symptoms worse.

  • Apply ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover the ice pack with a towel and place it on the area for 15 to 20 minutes every hour.

  • Rest your arm: You may need to rest your injured arm and avoid activities that cause your symptoms to allow your nerve to heal.

  • Get physical therapy: A physical therapist can show you exercises to help improve movement and strength. Physical therapy can also help decrease pain and loss of function.

  • Use elbow splint or brace: You may need a brace or splint on your elbow to decrease your arm movement. This will help to keep pressure off your ulnar nerve. You may also need elbow pads to protect your elbow.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms get worse.

  • Your hand and fingers are so weak that you cannot grab, squeeze, or lift items.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You suddenly lose feeling in your hand or fingers.

  • You cannot move your ring or little finger.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (Discharge Care)

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