Ulnar Nerve Injury

Ulnar nerve injury is a medical condition wherein the ulnar nerve is severed or compressed causing numbness or paralysis in the outer side of the arm and possibly affecting the fingers. Ulnar nerve injury symptoms may include:

  • Weakness and tenderness of the hand
  •  Tingling sensation of the palm, as well as, the 4th and 5th finger digits
  • Cold sensitivity
  • Tenderness of the elbow joint
  • Discomfort

Diagnosis of Ulner Nerve Injury

An expert orthopedic surgeon or neurologist may diagnose ulnar nerve injury by requesting you perform certain tasks and maneuvers to isolate the nerve that is associated with injury. There are very types of ulner nerve injuries. Ulner nerve injuries may be caused by traumatic injury or by chronic repetitive movement, such as in the case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a chronic and progressively painful neurological condition caused by the entrapment of the Ulnar nerve in the carpal tunnel of the wrist, affecting the arm and the hand. Electro-diagnostic studies like Electromyelography (EMG) may confirm an ulnar nerve injury.

Treatment Options

The treatment options available for the treatment of ulnar nerve injury may be classified as non-surgical and surgical. The following treatment modalities may be implored  for a ulnar nerve injury.

Splinting – the splinting of the wrist may relieve symptoms of tingling, numbness and slight discomfort in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In Cubital tunnel syndrome, snuggling the elbow with a splint may prevent the unnecessary flexion of the joint. 

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) – The pain of ulnar nerve injuries may be relieved by the regular intake of NSAIDS, but there are no studies that indicate that NSAIDS actually improve the conditions of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

Corticosteroids – Cortisone may be directly injected near the site of nerve entrapment to relieve pain and swelling. Oral corticosteroids are not known to be as effective as the injectable ones.

Surgery – The goal in surgery is to release the entrapped nerve from tissues like ligament, muscles and skin to allow for normal functioning of the nerves.

Outcomes

Ulnar nerve injuries which are conservatively treated may heal with time. Those that require surgical intervention are associated with a high recovery rate in the hands of a gifted surgeon. Muscles that have not atrophied significantly may be salvaged with immediate surgical intervention, assisting to afford a positive surgical outcome.

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.