Endoscopic cubital tunnel release

Persistent ulnar neuritis, cubital tunnel syndrome, ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow...that chronic ache along the inner aspect of the elbow with associated clumsiness and weakness and numbness of the small finger side of the hand can be quite debilitating and potentially disabling if left undetected or untreated. In its early stages, it can often be treated with conservative measures, including sleeping with the elbow straight with or without a brace. Occupational or physical therapy may be helpful. Anti-inflammatory medications (e.g., ibuprofen) may be helpful. Electrodiagnostic studies may or may not show positive findings (such as a conduction block of the ulnar nerve across the elbow). However, if symptoms persist beyond 3-6 months or are severe enough (either clinically or based on electrodiagnostic studies) to warrant more immediate surgical decompression of the ulnar nerve across the elbow, then this will be offered by your upper extremity orthopedic surgeon. 

Dr. Downing offers endoscopic (camera-assisted) in situ ulnar nerve decompression across the elbow ("cubital tunnel release"). This is a minimally invasive technique (with an incision of 2-3 centimeters (~1 inch) as opposed to a formal more invasive open cubital tunnel release (8-16 centimeters; ~3-6 inches). The endoscopic approach lends itself to a smaller scar (of the skin), less deep scarring, less medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve injury/irritation, less ulnar nerve dissection with protection of extrinsic ulnar nerve vascularity and quicker easier postop rehab.  A waterproof dressing is used over the surgical site. The patient is not activity restricted--pain/discomfort guide the patient's recovery. 

Kristopher L Downing MD

You Might Also Enjoy...

Will a Hairline Fracture Heal on Its Own?

Hairline fractures and stress fractures are small, but that doesn't mean they’re not a big deal. Here’s what to do if you think you have a hairline fracture, so you can find a treatment plan and start healing faster.

Is PRP Right for Me?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a drug-free treatment that can reduce pain and speed healing in orthopedic injuries. Read on to learn what’s involved in this popular procedure and if it could help you.

Are Ganglion Cysts Serious?

A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled lump that appears near a joint. Although they’re usually harmless, discovering a ganglion cyst can be disconcerting. Here’s what you need to know about these common lumps and what you can do about them.

How Physical Therapy Helps Get You Back in the Game

A sports injury can happen in an instant — and put you on the sidelines for the foreseeable future. But, physical therapy could help you get back in the game faster. Read on to find out what’s involved in physical therapy.

4 Common Orthopedic Traumas

Orthopedic trauma affects the musculoskeletal system, and injuries can range from sprains to fractures. Learn about four of the most common orthopedic injuries and what you can do to promote healing and protect your health.