Ulnar nerve: compression at the level of the elbow
published in May - June 2019 - in Il Fisioterapista - issue n.3
Alice Tiberi

Cubital tunnel syndrome is the most common form of ulnar nerve entrapment and the second most common entrapment neuropathy of the upper limb. It is more common in certain occupations, sports and recreational activities. Patients who have diabetes and those who have sustained injuries or degenerative changes around the elbow are also at increased risk. Signs and symptoms can include both motor and sensory abnormalities involving the ulnar nerve distribution over the forearm and hand. The most important signs of ulnar neuropathy at the elbow are numbness of the 4th and 5th digits, hypoesthesia of the medial palm, atrophy and paraesthesia of ulnar nerve-innervated hand muscles. When there is pain, it can either be localized at the elbow or extend to the medial forearm or wrist. Understanding the mechanism of pain and planning the appropriate treatment plays an important role in the improvement of patients’ quality of life.