CUBITAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition where it affects the ulnar nerve of the hands. The condition occurs when the ulnar nerve is compressed. This nerve is one of the main nerves in the hands that connect the muscles of the forearm and hand as well as the skin on the little finger of the hand.
The ulnar nerve passes at the back of the elbow, behind a bump called the medial epicondyle on the inner side of the upper arm bone. If you have heard about the “funny bone” where if you hit your elbow at this spot it will give a brief feeling of shock or tingling feeling, it is actually the ulnar nerve. The ulnar nerve is stretched and push against the bony bump when the elbow is bent.
Cubital tunnel syndrome is usually caused by repeatedly leaning on your elbow on a hard surface or when bending the elbow for long periods of time such as the habit of sleeping with your hand crooked under your pillow. Additional causes are instances when there are bone spurs or growth on the elbow. This can cause irritation of the nerve causing numbness in the ring and small finger and eventually nerve damage.
At its early stage the symptoms include:
- Pain and numbness can be felt in the elbow
- Occasional tingling especially in the ring and little fingers
- Weakness on the muscles of the arm most especially on the ring and little fingers
- Diminished ability to pinch the thumb and litter finger
- Inability to do a hand grip
- Gradual muscle wasting and loss of muscle tone
- There will be deformity on the hand
The treatment of cubital tunnel syndrome can be managed without surgery especially if the doctor is able to see that it is minimal or little pressure applied to the ulnar nerve. In fact, cases of mild cubital tunnel syndrome respond positively to physical therapies such as:
- Practiced avoidance of bending the elbow or adding pressure to the elbow during normal daily activities.
- Wearing elbow pad is also encourage
- Wearing a splint during sleeping to avoid over-bending of the elbow also helps.
However severe cases of cubital tunnel syndrome may require surgical procedures. It will be your doctor who will decide over this matter after performing diagnostic tests.
If you think you are suffering from Cubital Tunnel Syndrome you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Cubital Tunnel Syndrome as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).