Cubital tunnel syndrome is a set of symptoms that may occur if the ulnar nerve in your elbow gets pinched. This may happen if you bend or lean on your elbows often.
The cubital tunnel is a groove in a bone near your elbow. This narrow groove provides a passage for the ulnar nerve, one of the main nerves in your arm. The ulnar nerve can cause “funny bone” pain if your elbow gets bumped. Your cubital tunnel helps protect this nerve as it passes through your elbow and down to your fingers.
Bending your elbow compresses the ulnar nerve inside the cubital tunnel. The nerve can get inflamed (irritated) after constant bending and pinching or after getting hurt. Over time, this can lead to pain or numbness. The pain is often felt in your ring fingers and little fingers.
Numbness or tingling in the ring fingers and little fingers
Loss of finger or hand strength
Inability to straighten fingers
Sharp, sudden pain when elbow is touched
You can keep cubital tunnel syndrome from flaring up. Avoid pinching the ulnar nerve by keeping your arm straight as much as you can, even while sleeping. And use phone headsets and elbow pads. If you still have pain, tell your doctor.
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.