Ulnar Nerve Decompression

The ulnar nerve is the largest nerve in the human body that is not protected by muscle or bone so there is an increased chance for injury to the nerve. It extends from the neck into the hand and is one of the three main nerves in the arm. A common injury is the entrapment or compression of the ulnar nerve between the bone and the skin. The pressure on the lunar nerve may cause pain, numbness, tingling and/or weakness.

Treating ulnar nerve compression can be accomplished with non-surgical and surgical techniques. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, steroid injections, braces or splints and exercises targeted to the ulnar nerve are usually tried before pursuing surgery.

If your physician determines that surgery is the best course of treatment, there are several techniques currently in use:

  • Cubital tunnel release involves cutting and dividing the roof of the tunnel to increase the size of the space under the bony bump near the inside of the elbow.
  • Ulnar nerve anterior transposition involves repositioning the nerve.

As with all potential surgeries, you should discuss the pros and cons of ulnar nerve decompression with your physician. 

Ready to learn more about ulnar nerve decompression?

Saint Thomas Hospital for Specialty Surgery
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