What is it?
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is another common hand condition that presents to clinic. It is caused by pressure on one of the nerves that runs around the elbow (Ulna nerve). Symptoms are varied but are usually a combination of pain, altered sensation and tingling in the little and ring finger. Occasionally the diagnosis is confirmed using Nerve Conduction tests.
Does it always need an operation?
When the problem occurs it does not always require an operation. Some conditions such as pregnancy cause the symptoms to occur but usually resolve spontaneously after delivery of the baby. Some patients who experience symptoms mainly at night may respond well to elbow splints. Other patients who experience problems through the day use elbow supports and pads to protect their elbows.
When is an operation needed?
If the symptoms are persistent, prevent sleep, normal daily activities, and have not responded to these treatments previously mentioned, an operation would be recommended.
What does the operation involve?
The operation is usually a day case procedure (which means you usually come in and go home on the day), under general anaethestic (which means you will be asleep).
What happens after the operation?
After the operation you will have to stay for a couple of hours, to make sure you are comfortable, before you can then go home. It is advisable to arrange home helps, or friends, as you will only be able to use one hand for a few days. Initially you have a large padded bandage, but after 72 hours you can reduce this. There will be a small adhesive dressing over the wound protecting the actual wound. You need to keep the initial dressing dry.
When do I get seen again?
We will usually see you back in the clinic at around 10 days for a wound check. The stitch is usually buried under the skin and does not require to be removed. The next appointment would be around 6 weeks. You will usually be able to drive after a few weeks, IF, you have minimal pain. You must be able to perform all manoeuvres safely within the car.