I'm getting Ulnar Nerve Entrapment at the Elbow (Cubital Tunnel Syndrome) surgery next week.

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Oh Brother, I’m getting Ulnar Nerve Entrapment at the Elbow (Cubital Tunnel Syndrome)surgery next week. Do tell, what can I expect? (Talk to me about pain and disability. I drive a stick.)

Here’s a cookie (turn it up) for those who respond. Just for Yuks.

I can’t really answer your question, but I’m booked into the physio tomorrow to see if they can help me with the fact that my elbows are giving my gyp and my ring finger and pinkie keep going to sleep on me.

So…uh…good luck! I’ll be watching your thread with interest.

Do you get it when you bend your arm? I get ulnar nerve entrapment but it is mostly in the thoracic outlet. Stretches for my anterior scalenes and pec minors help me a bit.

I had a Dr try to tell me it was CTS, but I never got it when bending my arms.

nerve entrapment is annoying and complex, I fucking hate it.

That sounds like ulnar nerve compression. You get it from leaning on your elbows, as with long computer sessions with poor keyboard posture. Heat for temporary relief, frequent stretch breaks, and stop leaning on your elbows.

I would like to know more. For years, I have a feeling of cold, even to the point of pain, in my right hand in the little finger and the right half of the ring finger. No other symptoms. Often in the winter I wear gloves indoors. And my daughter says to try to sleep with a straight elbow. Which I have tried with no diminution of symptoms.

Or as a consequence of repetitive movements. I’ve had ulnar nerve compression symptoms since the late 1980s due to my line of work, pre-dating computers and keyboards. The simple stretching exercises described in the OP are very helpful.

That is e-x-a-c-t-l-y the problem I have Aspidistra. After 6 months my left hand is starting to atrophy. I had an EMG (YEOW!) and they nailed the problem down to the nerves running along my elbow. Now comes the knife. Will post the experience in a week.

Wesley Clark, the Doc diagnosed it as Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

Hari Seldon, here is what I have. YMMV.

I have a pinched ulnar nerve that drew my pinkie and ring finger down into my palm into what I hear is The Claw. It started with numbness, but not having insurance there was nothing I could do about it. Oddly enough, after…a year? year and a half? it seems to be resolving itself, at least a little. When I hold out my hand now those fingers are only bent although the other digits are still weak. I’m hoping I can eventually start crocheting again. I’ll be watching this thread to see how you do.

Becky2844 – Sorry to hear about your problem and having no insurance. I’m getting this surgery done on December 3rd because:

1). The Good Doctor said it ain’t gonna get no better without surgery, and

2). The company I work for is getting bought out by a private equity firm in 3 - 4 weeks, which means The Cossacks will be riding horseback into our offices and bull-whipping the employees into submission while trashing their benefits.

The Doc mentioned I may also have to have bone in my elbow scraped to make everything “fit”, which means 6 to 8 weeks in a splint. He won’t know until he “get’s in there”. (Egads!)

Details to come after the surgery. I’m suspecting lottsa ice and d-r-u-g-s.

And no guarantee of success…

Yes, but for me it wasn’t CTS. The ulnar nerve can be entrapped in close to a dozen areas between the spinal cord and the fingers. For me the thoracic outlet seems to be a bigger factor.

I had surgery on my shoulder earlier this week. I chose Vicodin instead of percocet; when I got out of the hospital, we spent a couple hours trying to find a place to fill the prescription. My advice isdon’t wait until you get home to buy the pain meds, do it first thing after you leave the hospital. Also, make sure you take them on the dot, don’t forget to take a pill because you are not in pain. I don’t know if any of this helps, but good luck.

I’ve sat through a ton of pre and post surgical speeches from doctors - something about my parents being in their 70s - and this is one of the common themes. Stay ahead of the pain. It’s apparently much harder to use pain medication to blunt pain once you’re really feeling it.

Of course, that does make it hard to know when you don’t need the medication.

I’ve been having problems with this since high school. If I sleep with my right elbow bent so my hand is near my face, my elbow (just in that one specific spot) will be throbbing when I wake up. All I have to do is straighten it out and hit the snooze button, it’s generally gone in about 15 minutes, but as I’ve gotten older it’s gotten worse. A few years ago it got to the point where I made sure I went to bed with my arm straight. In fact, instead of sleeping on my side with my arm curled next to my face like I want, I would sleep on my stomach, laying on my arm to keep it there.

Anyways, it took a thread here and a shoulder injury (so I could ask a physical therapist) before I could finally self diagnose myself with Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

It does keep getting worse. I mean, it’s been 15 years, but now I do even wake up with my pinky and part of my ring finger tingling, but it’s possible that was exasperated by the fall that injured my shoulder since I landed on my elbow.

I’m not quite willing to do surgery yet though since I know what to do to avoid it and it really only bothers me in specific circumstances.

Thanks Mr. Nylock. My doctor has instructed me to pick up my prescription for pain meds two days before the procedure so that when I get home, I’ll have access.

Also to note, I drive a stick. Its my left arm that is getting the surgery but I’m wondering how long it will take before I can steady the wheel with my left hand while shifting with my right.

I could always manage to eat a hamburger or drink a milk shake with my left hand and drive stick. Granted, I could still use the edge of my palm on the wheel to help out, but I typically just ended up either driving with the car in first all the way through a turn until it was straightened out or just starting out in second. This will be different since you just won’t be able to use that hand at all for a while.

I just had shoulder surgery and there’s a lot you realize very quickly you just.can’t.do. You can try to do it, but trying to (for example) grab the wheel really quickly hurts like hell. But with that, you do find workarounds rather quickly.

Is it just the surgery where they move the nerve from the cubital tunnel up to above your elbow? I would guess that the recovery isn’t that long on that since they’re not doing any work on muscles or tendons or anything like that.

Joey P

Not only could I eat a burger and drink a shake while driving in my younger days, but I also had this wild-eyed, redheaded, daredevil of a girlfriend who would, well…, that’s for another thread.

From the link I posted there are three options for this surgery.

Cubital tunnel release.
Ulnar nerve anterior transposition.
Medial epicondylectomy.

I’m fairly certain that the Good Doctor can’t make a determination on which to pursue until once he gets in there. Each procedure has different degrees of post op recovery. From what I’ve read and heard, anything dealing with nerves requires a lengthy recover process.

Not only do I have to figure out driving with a stick again, but simple things like how do I put on a shirt, buckle my trousers, lace my shoes. As you said, “you do find workarounds rather quickly.”

Um, naked driving of a rental with an automatic transmission?

For my surgery, I bought tennis shoes (as opposed to my work/motorcycle boots) and laced them snugly but loosely enough that I could slip in and out of them but they were still plenty tight that I could walk comfortably. That was three months ago…I don’t think I’ve retied them yet. I also bought Adidas warm up pants and did the same thing. Made sure they fit just right that they could slip on and off without tying anything, but wouldn’t fall down. For a shirt, you learn how (they taught me about an hour after I woke up post-op) to put the bad arm in first and pull the shirt on over your head. Then you get some zip up hoodies and you’re good to go.

I wasn’t thrilled about wearing track pants to work but they’re so comfortable I milked for about 2 months longer than I needed to. Of course, I still have a hard time putting a belt on since I can’t get my bad arm behind me.

Spending exactly 10 seconds looking at the recovery for your surgery, I expect this will work for you as well. I say that based on nothing more than one ortho’s website saying that you’re supposed to keep it moving, so it’s not that it’s going to be immobilized for any length of time and getting clothes on will be impossible.

Thank you Joey P. Will follow your recommendations.