Symptoms and Signs

Ulnar Neuropathy or Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: The ulnar nerve is one of the three large nerves that crosses the elbow (the others are the median and radial nerves). The ulnar nerve lies very near to the medial ulnar collateral ligament. As it crosses the elbow joint, it enters a small tunnel referred to as the cubital tunnel. Because this space is tight, it is a common place where the nerve can become compressed. This compression is often referred to as “cubital tunnel syndrome,” and it can lead to nerve-related problems such as pain, weakness, numbness, and even muscle atrophy.

  • Numbness and/or tingling that travels on the inside of the forearm and into the ring and little fingers (4th and 5th digits)
  • Pain on the inside of the elbow
  • Weakness with some wrist and hand motions
  • Decreased muscle size of certain muscles in the hand

Man with elbow pain.

Risk Factors

  • Sports and occupations that require repetitive elbow bending or motions
  • Habitual elbow bending with reading, phone usage, or sleeping positions
  • Arthritis in the elbow
  • History of elbow injury

When to Seek a Consultation

  • When you have pain in the elbow that does not get better with a period of rest
  • When there is decreased sensation, numbness, tingling, weakness, and/or loss of muscles in the hand and wrist