Current concept| Volume 35, ISSUE 1, P153-163, January 2010

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Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

      Cubital tunnel syndrome is the second most common compression neuropathy in the upper extremity. Patients complain of numbness in the ring and small fingers, as well as hand weakness. Advanced disease is complicated by irreversible muscle atrophy and hand contractures. Ulnar nerve decompression can help to alleviate symptoms and prevent more advanced stages of dysfunction. Many surgical treatments exist for the treatment of cubital tunnel syndrome. In situ decompression, transposition of the ulnar nerve into the subcutaneous, intramuscular, or submuscular plane, or medial epicondylectomy have all been shown to be affective in the treatment of this disease process. Comparative studies have shown some short–term advantages to one or another technique, but overall results between the treatments have essentially been equivocal. The choice of surgical treatment is based on multiple factors, and a single surgical approach cannot be applied to all clinical situations. Through careful consideration of the potential sites of nerve compression and the etiologies for these local irritations, the appropriate surgical technique can be selected and a good outcome anticipated in most patients.

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      Linked Article

      • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: Ulnar Nerve Subluxation
        Journal of Hand SurgeryVol. 35Issue 9
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          Kudos to authors Palmar and Hughes for an excellent Current Concepts review article1 regarding cubital tunnel syndrome. Once again, their thorough literature review demonstrated no procedure was clearly superior. In my mind, this is compelling evidence for nothing more than simple decompression, but anterior transposition lives! It would seem that the ulnar nerve continues to be moved anteriorly simply because it is possible and not necessarily because it is proven necessary.
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