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If you ever bumped your “funny bone” resulting in that tingling feeling, you are familiar with the ulnar nerve. The ulnar nerve runs from the upper arm down to the fingers.
Ulnar neuropathy is a disorder caused by impingement of the ulnar nerve. The impingement usually occurs either at the elbow or at the wrist. This impingement will result in numbness and tingling down the arm into the pinky and ring fingers. In addition, grip weakness, hand coordination, and finger coordination can be affected.
To test for ulnar neuropathy, a doctor will often ask the patient to make an “OK” sign with the thumb and first finger. If the patient is suffering ulnar nerve impingement, she will be unable to make this symbol.
In milder cases, ulnar neuropathy treatment may consist of rest, maintaining a straight elbow (sometimes by using a brace), and certain exercises called “nerve-gliding.”
In severe cases, surgery may be required to relieve the pressure on the nerve. Surgical options usually include a cubital tunnel release or ulnar nerve transposition. The release surgery involves cutting part of the cubital tunnel to create a larger space for the ulnar nerve to pass through. The more common of the two is transposition surgery, which is simply moving the nerve away from the cause of the inflammation/impingement.
If you or someone you know has suffered a neurological injury or ulnar neuropathy from a vaccine, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, please contact us for a free consultation.