Elbow

Ulnar nerve entrapment

Zespół rowka nerwu łokciowegoThe condition known as ulnar nerve entrapment presents itself with numbness and tingling in fingers, radiating from the elbow along the inside of the forearm. Another symptom may be sensory disturbances around the epicondyle. In severe cases, this can lead to weakness and muscular atrophy in the inner arm.

Causes

  • chronic congestion or tightness;
  • a direct hit;
  • osteoarthritis of the elbow;
  • rheumatoid arthritis;
  • move of the ulnar nerve caused by too shallow groove or lack of fascia;
  • ulnar nerve tumors such as ganglia, lipomas and others.

Symptoms

  • Increased medial pain of the elbow during activity;
  • tingling or numbness in fingers IV-V, extending from the elbow along the inner side of the forearm;
  • sensory disturbances around the epicondylitis ;
  • mechanical symptoms;
  • in advanced cases, weakness and muscle atrophy of the internal hand.

Diagnosis

  • Primary clinical diagnosis consists in performing several provocation tests.
  • An X-ray may reveal inequalities within the bone giving local pressure.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound may show soft tissue pathologies of exerting pressure on the nerve, and swelling of the nerve fibers.

Treatment

Ulnar nerve entrapment therapy begins with conservative treatment, which consists of rest, avoidance of prolonged elbow bending and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. Often, conservative treatment may be ineffective. In case of the subluxation of the ulnar nerve, pathological changes within the elbow or medial instability, surgery is recommended. After short postoperative immobilization, the patient begins exercises and physical therapy (electroplating, electrical stimulation, vortex massage).

Recovery

Conservative treatment brings the most satisfactory and significant results. The results of surgical treatment are dependent on the state of the nerve and the period between the first signs of discomfort.

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