Ulnar nerve entrapment is a condition that develops as a result of extra pressure on the ulnar nerve. The ulnar nerve runs from the shoulder to the little finger. Ordinarily, nerves are found inside bone canals and are protected by muscles. This is, however, not the case for the ulnar nerve, which is found near the skin’s surface. This means that the ulnar nerve is not protected enough such that it is prone to injuries and compression.
The entrapment can happen on many levels. If it happens at the elbow, the condition is called cubital tunnel syndrome, and if it happens at the wrist, it is called ulnar tunnel syndrome. Cubital tunnel syndrome is a common injury while ulnar tunnel syndrome is less common. The condition is usually not serious. However, some consequences can be permanent if the condition is left untreated. Paralysis and loss of sensation are among the risks. The condition can usually be treated successfully once it is diagnosed.
1. Symptoms of Ulnar Nerve Entrapment
Ulnar nerve entrapment symptoms occur in two main places; the elbow and the hand. However, most symptoms occur in hands and fingers. The most common symptoms of Ulnar nerve entrapment are intermittent numbness and tingling occurring in the fingers, especially the ring finger and the little finger. The grip of the affected hand becomes weaker and most patients describe their little and ring fingers as being asleep.
People who type often or play an instrument find it difficult to control their fingers. Any task that requires the use of fingers becomes more difficult. In addition, they become more sensitive to cold temperature and feel pain and tenderness in the inner part of the arm at the level of the elbow. If the condition is left untreated, muscle wasting may occur.