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Ulnar Nerve Entrapment

What is Ulnar Nerve Entrapment?

Ulnar Nerve Entrapment occurs when the ulnar nerve becomes compressed or irritated. There are several reasons for the entrapment, as e.g. extensive bending of the elbow, which can irritate the nerve, traumatic injuries of the bone as well as inflammation, bone spurs or tumors.

What are the symptoms of Ulnar Nerve Entrapment?

Common symptoms of the Ulnar Nerve Entrapment are numbness and tingling in the fourth and fifth finger, which can also cause pain. In advanced stages, pain can subside and a pronounced atrophy of the muscles ("Claw Hand") can occur. Furthermore, a restricted mobility of the wrist joint can also be a symptom of an Ulnar Nerve Entrapment.

How is Ulnar Nerve Entrapment diagnosed?

After discussing your symptoms, your doctor will examine thoroughly your elbow, wrist and hand. Furthermore, he will perform several tests in order to confirm the diagnosis. The tests may also include nerve conduction studies, X-Rays or, in rare cases, CT Scans or MRI.

How is Ulnar Nerve Entrapment treated?

If the findings of the nerve conduction studies are normal, your doctor will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment. Depending on the severity of the Ulnar Nerve Entrapment, the daily use of anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, a splint to prevent bending the elbow can be useful. Wearing an elbow bandage during sports is recommended.

If conservative treatment fails, surgery may be necessary to remove pressure from the nerve. There are several approaches to treat Ulnar Nerve Entrapment. Our specialists will be glad to help you and find the proper option for you.

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