Cubital Tunnel Release at the Elbow
This outpatient procedure, performed under general or regional anesthesia, alleviates compression of the ulnar nerve. This nerve travels along the inner side of the elbow and down to the hand. Cubital tunnel release is used to treat cubital tunnel syndrome.
Anesthesia is administered, and the patient is positioned to allow access to the inner side of the arm. The area is cleaned and sterilized.
Accessing the Joint
The surgeon makes an incision along the inner side of the elbow to access the cubital tunnel, the open space surrounded by muscle and bone that provides a channel for the ulnar nerve.
Relieving the Compression
The surgeon carefully opens the roof of the cubital tunnel at the site of the compression, creating more space for the ulnar nerve. The nerve is often moved out of the tunnel and repositioned along a new path to prevent it from being compressed in the future. If the nerve is compressed in multiple places, more than one section of the tunnel may require treatment.
End of Procedure and Aftercare
The incision is closed with sutures, and the arm is bandaged and placed in a splint. The patient is allowed to go home the same day. Physical therapy may be required after the arm has healed.