Orthopaedics

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome – How To Treat It ?

Few people with cubital tunnel syndrome can improve on their own. But it is quite difficult to be predicted. But full recovery is not possible without undergoing a proper treatment plan advised by a qualified physician. The more irritated the nerve is and for a longer duration, the harder becomes the recovery. Even surgery cannot claim total recovery when it is most severe. In such case, the nerve damage can affect your finger a lot where it can not straighten fully and properly. This cannot be corrected by surgery in most cases. The amount of scar tissues formed around your nerve is also another deciding factor if your condition can improve on its own.

How Can You Help Yourself?

  • You can use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID), like aspirin, ketoprofen, ibuprofen or naprosyn.
  • Consult with the pharmacist for Over the counter medicines and their side-effects.
  • Daily intake of Vitamin B6 of not more than 100 mg daily might help but this is yet a controversial statement.
  • Use a splint or a brace while sleeping to keep your arms at a good posture.
  • Home remedies including the below may also be tried:
    • Wrap towel around your elbow. Hold in place for few minutes with safety pins or tapes.
    • A soft knee splint which is small in size can be worn on the elbow.
    • Tie a scarf around your waist and then on your wrist.
  • Try to keep a watch on your postures and modify them. Avoid longer periods of elbow bending, frequent elbow straightening and bending, try to keep your elbow as straight as possible. Keeping your work at a larger distance from your chest will make your elbow feel comfortable with more straight positions.
  • Before deciding for any of the above procedures, do not forget to visit your physician. After all, its only him who is qualified to advise the best for you.

How To Treat Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

In cases where the pressure on the nerve is detected to be minimal, then the symptoms can get normal even without surgery. Only changing your pattern of elbow use, to reduce the pressure on the nerve, can be very effective. You might need to be careful to restrict your elbow to be placed on any hard surfaces. Wearing an elbow pad over funny bone can also be of great help. Splinting may be recommended during night to keep the elbow straight while sleeping. You need a session with your therapist to decide over the treatment.

Surgeries are needed in severe cases where no improvement is seen with the symptoms with other non-surgical methods. The main aim of a surgery is to relieve the pressure on the nerve. Basically either of the two types of surgery mentioned below are performed:

    • Shifting the ulnar nerve to the front of the elbow by surgery. The tension and pressure of the nerve will decrease. The nerve tend to stretch whenever the elbow is bent. So after the surgery, bending of the elbow will no longer effect the ulnar nerve.
    • Trimming the bony bump which is named as the medial epicondyle can also reduce the pressure.

Recovery Following A Surgery

The recovery is entirely dependant on the type of the surgery performed. Lifting or elbow movements are strictly restricted for few months. The original strength will take time to be re-gained. But surgery do not claim a complete sure.

    • Long-term relief has been seen in every 4 patients out of 5, undergoing the conservative treatment involving no surgery. But patients with any nerve dam,age are not recommended with conservative treatment options.
    • People who undergo surgery, can have permanent numbness in few areas around the elbow or forearm.

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