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Cubital Tunnel Release

Cubital tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the ulnar nerve (one of the main nerves to the hand and some forearm muscles) around the elbow area. Pressure on the nerve can cause pins and needles and numbness in the ring and little fingers of the hand. It can also cause weakness in the hand muscles and some of the forearm muscles.

Cubital tunnel release is the surgical treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome. This involves releasing the ligaments and muscle attachments around the elbow that are too tight around the nerve as it runs from the shoulder to the hand. It is done through an incision along the inner side of the elbow. Sometimes it is necessary to place the nerve in a new position in front of the elbow (transposition of the nerve) to prevent the compression from recurring and occasionally a small piece of bone is removed from the inner elbow to prevent it from rubbing on the nerve.

If the nerve has been under pressure for a long time or the pressure has been severe, the nerve may not recover fully after surgery and and recovery will be slow. However, the surgery will prevent further damage to the nerve in the future.