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Cubital tunnel syndrome is compression or irritation of the ulnar nerve in a tunnel on the inside of the elbow (where your 'funny bone' is). The ulnar nerve provides sensation to the little finger and part of the ring finger, and power to the small muscles within the hand.

The symptoms are very similar to the pain that comes from hitting your funny bone. When you hit your funny bone, you are actually hitting the ulnar nerve on the inside of the elbow.  The nerve runs through a passage called the cubital tunnel. When this area becomes irritated from injury or pressure, it can lead to cubital tunnel syndrome.

 

Treatment

The early symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome usually lessen if you just stop whatever is causing the symptoms.  Anti-inflammatory medications may help control the symptoms. However, it is much more important to stop doing whatever is causing the pain in the first place. Limit the amount of time you do tasks that require a lot of bending in the elbow. If necessary, work with your supervisor to modify your job activities.

Your surgeon may have you work with a physiotherapist who at first will give you tips how to rest your elbow and how to do your activities without putting extra strain on your elbow. Your physiotherapist may apply heat or other treatments to ease pain.  Exercises are used to gradually stretch and strengthen the forearm muscles.

Your symptoms may not go away, even with changes in your activities and non-surgical treatments.  In that case, your surgeon may recommend surgery to stop damage to the ulnar nerve in the form of a cubital tunnel release.