Ulnar nerve entrapment is the second most common nerve entrapment syndrome of the upper extremity. Although it may occur at any location along the length of the nerve, it is most common in the cubital tunnel. Ulnar nerve entrapment produces numbness in the ring and little fingers and weakness of the intrinsic muscles in the hand. Patient presentation and symptoms vary according to the site of entrapment. Treatment options are often determined by the site of pathology. Many patients benefit from nonsurgical treatment (eg, physical therapy, bracing, injection). When these methods fail or when sensory or motor impairment progresses, surgical release of the nerve at the site of entrapment should be considered. Surgical release may be done alone or with nerve transposition at the elbow. Most patients report symptomatic relief following surgery.
Dr. Elhassan is Hand Consultant and Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Department of Orthopedics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Dr. Steinmann is Hand Consultant and Associate Professor, Department of Orthopedics, Mayo Clinic.
None of the following authors or a member of their immediate families has received anything of value from or owns stock in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article: Dr. Elhassan and Dr. Steinmann.
Reprint requests: Dr. Elhassan, Department of Orthopedics, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905.