Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

This is a common problem in which one of the nerves supplying your hand is compressed at the elbow. The nerve is called the ulnar nerve and the place where it is compressed is in the cubital tunnel. The cubital tunnel is a space behind the bone on the inside aspect of your elbow, this tunnel is sometimes also called Osborne’s canal. It can result in a variety of problems, including pain, swelling, weakness or clumsiness of the hand and tingling or numbness of the ring and small fingers. It also often results in elbow pain on the side of the arm next to the chest.

 The commonest cause of cubital tunnel syndrome is the nerve being held down too tightly behind the medial epicondyle causing ompression at that point. This can be made worse by conditions such as arthritis in the joint below or holding the elbow bent for long periods of time. Occasionally the reverse occurs and the nerve is not held down tightly enough. This allows the nerve to slip backwards and forwards around the medial epicondyle (subluxation) and this can also damage the nerve at that point. Sometimes this subluxation can be felt as a clunking sensation on the inner aspect of the elbow when the joint moves.