What is a Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?
Cubital tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the ulnar nerve near which is located near the elbow. This pressure can cause pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, or an achy feeling in your elbow, forearm, hand, and or fingers. This nerve is surrounded by very little padding, so it is easily aggravated by outside pressure.
Who May Benefit from Cubital Tunnel Surgery?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be a painful condition. If you have struggled with pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in your elbow, forearm, hand, and or fingers , you may have cubital tunnel syndrome. You are a good candidate for cubital tunnel surgery if you:
- have been diagnosed with cubital tunnel syndrome and your symptoms are bothersome.
- are a non-smoker.
- do not have any medical conditions that impair your healing ability.
Before the Cubital Tunnel Surgery
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation, as needed.
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications, as recommended.
- Stop smoking well in advance of your surgery.
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding (if OK with your primary care physician. If you cannot stop please let us know).
- Get your pre- and post-surgery checklist.
The Day of the Cubital Tunnel Surgery
- Completed as an outpatient or with hospital stay depending on your particular needs.
- Nothing to eat or drink the day of surgery.
- You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours.
After the Cubital Tunnel Surgery
Recovery is patient dependent.
Complications from Cubital Tunnel Surgery
As with any procedure there are risks. Fortunately, with Cubital Tunnel surgery, these risks are minimal. These include but are not limited to:
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Blood clots
- Anesthesia risks
- Unfavorable scarring
- Change in skin sensation
- Skin contour irregularities
- Skin discoloration/swelling
- Poor healing of incisions
- Unexpected hand swelling
- Allergies to tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations or injected agents
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Damage to deeper structures — such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and lungs — can occur and may be temporary or permanent
- Pain, which may persist
- Possibility of revisional surgery
Dr. Ryan Diederich is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in a range of aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures at Mid-America Institute of Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery in Glen Carbon, IL. If you’re looking for a plastic surgeon east of St. Louis, you can schedule a consultation online schedule a consultation online, or call us at (618) 288-7855 to schedule an appointment.
*This article is intended as a guideline only. This is not intended as medical advice. There are no guarantees written or implied from the information presented here. Only a consultation can provide an appropriate evaluation and discussion regarding any procedure. Refer to your physician for medical decision making and advice.