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Cubital Tunnel Syndrome - Severity?

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Old 07-19-2012, 03:27 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Glendale, Arizona, USA
Posts: 1
JessAche HB User
Question Cubital Tunnel Syndrome - Severity?

Long post, but please please read if you have any knowledge and/or experience with this syndrome.

4 months ago, my left arm would go to sleep(numb and tingly) when I put too much pressure on my elbow by resting my head on my hand while at my computer(which I've been doing for 2 years, daily). I work on a computer and the numbness began 4 months and had been happening more often, but I always would shake it off and didn't think anything of it.

5 days ago when I got up from my position of resting my elbow on the desk to support my head with my hand, the numbness hit me as I exited the position and felt different than usual; sudden tingle, mildly painful, but mostly numb only at my pinky and ring finger, along the back side of my palm all the way up my forearm to a pain in my elbow. When I was in the position, my arm didn't fall asleep that time, but as soon as I stood up and extended my arm I felt that numb and tingly feeling, but this time, NO sensation in my 2 finger tips and different from being 'asleep'. The pain never went away after that.

2 days ago I tried to open a bottle - I couldn't even make a grip, my hand was so weak. Holding my phone up to my ear hurt my elbow and made my 2 fingers and palm more numb.

Today, I cannot bend my elbow without extreme pain (feels really tight), the numbness worsens in certain positions I hold my arm, and when I make a grip its numb and my arm is very weak. I've consulted a Doctor, and he agreed it is the Ulnar Nerve, and I will have to see a specialist (Neurologist or Orthopedist) to check the severity of the compression, and determine if it is entrapped. I'm very scared because I'm trying to research this syndrome, and all I'm finding is severe cases to my symptoms, which require immediate surgery.

I'm afraid that I do have a severe case of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, and my only option at this point is surgery. I'm scaring myself, but from what I'm reading, the weakness in my hand is the ultimate symptom of ulnar nerve damage, and once the associated muscles lose strength, its time for surgery because the syndrome is degenerative and will quickly cause permanent nerve damage - meaning I won't be able to feel my hand and it will always be numb and weak, so I can't use my left arm. I'm really upset because I am a guitar player and a graphic designer, and I'm worried that if this is a severe case of CuTS, surgery won't completely relieve my symptoms and I won't be able to play guitar ever again and using a computer will become more difficult.

Please let me know if you have any advice/input on this subject, I really need to hear other people's point of view. Maybe I am wrong and there is a chance the symptoms I'm having don't imply a need for surgery, a long/painful recovery, and the potential to have permanent nerve damage.

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Old 07-19-2012, 07:57 AM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Crossville TN USA
Posts: 2
marblu HB User
Re: Cubital Tunnel Syndrome - Severity?

New member here...and I am scheduled to have ulnar nerve transposition surgery August 6th. I was hoping to find others that had the surgery to ask about post-op.

I had mine diagnosed after wakening one morning and having difficulty affects my writing hand. Saw my GP who referred me to an EMG test (which wasn't bad at all) and was diagnosed as having a pinched nerve in my left elbow. From there I was sent to see a hand specialist who does this surgery. He explained what was needed and I agreed to have the surgery.

I would suggest to you please see your doctor, it's not going to get better on its own and better to have something done before it gets any worse. Find a doctor you feel comfortable with and have faith in...he can set your mind at ease. Best of luck to you.

Old 07-22-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: New Orleans, La
Posts: 78
nola HB Usernola HB Usernola HB User
Re: Cubital Tunnel Syndrome - Severity?

I'm sorry you are going through this. I don't know anything about Cubital Tunnel Syndrome but keep checking back in here in case someone does know and can offer some advice or info. You might want to look around the forums to see if it may have been addressed in another area as well. Best of luck to you!

Old 09-19-2012, 05:38 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Dulles, VA
Posts: 9
kat18219 HB User
Re: Cubital Tunnel Syndrome - Severity?

I am going through the same thing but my pain is from the armpit to the elbow. The EMG test showed the entrapment above the elbow so I'm having an MRI on Monday. I was in so much pain yesterday I spend the day in the ER. They gave me a shot in the butt, 2 tylenol 3's and morphine and I was still in pain. I just don't know what to do since it's my right arm and I'm very right arm/hand dominant. I can barely use my arm and it becomes numb and feels cold...just doesn't feel like part of my body. Ugh any help or suggestions would be very appreciated.

Last edited by kat18219; 09-19-2012 at 05:39 PM.

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