Many people have never heard of cubital tunnel syndrome until someone they love is diagnosed with this condition. It is less talked about than the more common condition called carpal tunnel syndrome, but it can still cause chronic pain and long-term disabilities for the rest of your life.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, cubital tunnel syndrome, which is a form of ulnar nerve entrapment, is a condition in which a main nerve within the arm becomes “compressed or irritated.” The ulnar nerve is a very large nerve that extends from the neck to your fingers. Therefore, it has the ability to become injured or compressed in various spots and lead to nerve damage in your arm. However, in order for cubital tunnel syndrome to occur, the nerve must be squeezed, pinched, or crushed around the elbow area, which is a very common spot for nerve injuries.
What are the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome?
When a person has cubital tunnel syndrome, the ulnar nerve becomes swollen, causing severe pain and irritation. In fact, many people describe it as feeling like they hit their funny bone except the tingling and painful feeling does not go away. The following are a few symptoms that may indicate that you have cubital tunnel syndrome:
- Tingling in the fingers and hands
- Pain in the hand, fingers, or arms
- Numbness in the hands and fingers
- Inability to grip or grab things
- Weakness in the arms and hands
- Elbow pain
Most people who are diagnosed with cubital tunnel syndrome mention that their symptoms become worse when they bend their elbows. However, it is important to know and be aware of the fact that the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome can be very similar to other conditions. If you experience any pain, tingling, or numbness in your hands, arms, fingers, or elbows, it is crucial that you seek medical attention right away. A licensed medical provider will assess your symptoms and run tests to give you an accurate diagnosis.
The causes of cubital tunnel syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome usually emerges when an individual is continuously doing the same task or work that requires them to bend their elbows over and over again. For example, if you work in a shipping warehouse, this may require you to frequently lift, reach, and pull heavy items. As a result, you are constantly bending your elbow, causing the nerve to become compressed.
On the other hand, it is not unusual for individuals to experience traumatic injuries around their elbows and arms, which can lead to permanent damage to the ulnar nerve. The causes of these types of injuries may include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Sports accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Dangerous premises accidents
Sometimes, cubital tunnel syndrome can form due to a previous condition, such as previous broken or fractured bones in the arm, dislocated elbows, bone spurs, and arthritis. Determining the exact cause of cubital tunnel syndrome can be very difficult, but your healthcare team will get to the bottom of it and help you begin a treatment plan tailored to you and your needs.
Once you have received medical treatment for your condition, it may be a good idea to reach out to a personal injury lawyer regarding your accident and the compensation you need and deserve for your injury and other losses. The legal team at Cunningham & Mears will stand up and fight for your rights and ensure that the individual who caused your nerve damage is held accountable for their negligent actions.
How will a doctor diagnose and treat my cubital tunnel syndrome?
There are specific tests that your doctor will conduct to determine whether you have cubital tunnel syndrome. This frequently includes:
- X-rays: An X-ray is usually one of the first tests that a doctor will order when looking for cubital tunnel syndrome. This will provide an up-close picture of the bones within your arm and elbow to see if anything looks abnormal.
- Nerve conduction tests: Next, your doctor will likely want to do a nerve conduction test on you. This test shows how quickly your nerve responds to certain signals. It is commonly used to check if a nerve is crushed, pinched, or completely damaged as the nerve may not sense or respond to any of the signals provided in the test.
- Electromyograms: An electromyogram is one of the most important tests that your doctor may run on you. This type of test is specifically used to check your nerves and muscles to see how well they are functioning. If the test determines that your muscles are not working properly around the elbow area, this may be a clear warning sign that there is an issue with your ulnar nerve.
When it comes to treating cubital tunnel syndrome, you may be required to wear a cast, brace, or splint to prevent you from bending your elbow. You will also need to rest and relax your arm and elbow for an extended period of time. In addition, your doctor may recommend physical therapy, surgery, and steroid injections depending on how serious your nerve damage is.
Can you seek compensation for cubital tunnel syndrome in Oklahoma City, OK?
The symptoms, medical treatment, and healing process that comes with cubital tunnel syndrome can be very challenging. You may be accumulating expensive medical bills, and you may be unable to work and bring in income to pay for them along with your daily expenses and necessities.
If your injuries were the result of someone’s negligence, then you can seek compensation for these losses through a personal injury claim. A driver who hit you, a business owner whose property was unsafe, a manufacturer whose product was dangerous – you can seek compensation from any of them.
If your cubital tunnel syndrome is due to a work-related injury or task, you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit, if you’re a contractor or a third-party. If you’re an employee, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. If this is the case, we can direct you towards the right resources so you can get the help you need.
If you are currently suffering from cubital tunnel syndrome, Cunningham & Mears is here to help you. Our team has been assisting clients with various injuries that led to permanent nerve damage for more than 20 years. We know the ins and outs of these types of cases and will do everything we can to stand up and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call or contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation at one of our Oklahoma City offices.
Ryan Y. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Cunningham devotes his practice to protecting the rights of injured Oklahoma residents. In addition to assisting injured clients, Mr. Cunningham endeavors to improve personal injury representation by speaking on issues related to personal injury law to attorneys in continuing legal education courses and to law students. Learn More