Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

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Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Description
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a caused by entrapment of the ulnar nerve at the elbow.  The ulnar nerve at the elbow is commonly called the "funny bone."  When someone bumps the elbow on the inside and feels tingling in the forearm and hand this is due to compression of the ulnar nerve.  Prolonged compression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow can lead to cubital tunnel syndrome.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Anatomy
The ulnar nerve travels through the cubital tunnel at the elbow.  There is a bony prominence on the inside of the elbow known as the medial epicondyle.  There is a shallow groove just behind the medial epicondyle known as the cubitial tunnel in which the ulnar nerve travels. 

The ulnar nerve then travels through the forearm and into the hand.  The ulnar nerve innervates several muscles in the hand and forarm and also supplies the sensation for the small and ring fingers. 

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome may cause an aching pain in the elbow or forearm.  The most common symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome are numbness and tingling in the small and ring fingers.  It is often described as the hand "falling asleep."  Cubital tunnel syndrome is generally worse when the elbow is bent for prolonged periods. 

In severe cases of cubital tunnel syndrome there may be weakness in the hand and poor coordination of the hand.  There may also be atrophy or muscle wasting in the hand. 

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Treatment 
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome s diagnosed based on a detailed history, physical exam and xrays performed by an orthopaedic surgeon, or sports medicine specialist.

Athletes returning to sports after Cubital Tunnel Syndrome should begin with a graduated exercise program. First they should be pain free with daily activities with full range of motion and at least 85% strength in the injured leg compared to the uninjured leg. Exercise begins with light jogging in a straight line, followed by sprinting in a straight line. When these have been done without pain the athlete can proceed to doing agility type drills such as 45º cuts, 90º cuts and jumping. Agility drills should begin at half-speed and proceed to full-speed provided the athlete remains pain free.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Prevention
Prevention of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Risk Factors
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is associated the following sports: Baseball; Basketball; Boxing; Cycling; Dance; Diving; Equestrian Sports; Figure Skating; Football; Golf; Gymnastics; Hockey; RowingRugby; Running; Skiing; Snowboarding; Soccer; Swimming; Tennis; VolleyballWeight Lifting; Wrestling.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Rehab and Exercise Program
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Outcomes
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Similar injuries that can be confused with Cubital Tunnel Syndrome include:

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