A review of compressive ulnar neuropathy at the elbow

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2005 Jun;28(5):345. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2005.04.005.


Objective: To review the anatomy, etiology, and symptoms associated with compressive ulnar neuropathy at the elbow and to discuss the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

Data source: The following were searched for information relevant to cubital tunnel syndrome: MEDLINE, WorldCat, and Index to Chiropractic Literature.

Results: Cubital tunnel syndrome is the second most common nerve compression syndrome of the upper extremity. Clinical features of this syndrome are described along with electrodiagnostic techniques that can be used to provide evidence concerning the probable location, character, and severity of the lesion affecting the ulnar nerve. Conservative treatment of cubital tunnel syndrome is recommended for patients with intermittent symptoms and without changes in cutaneous sensation or muscle atrophy.

Conclusion: A definitive diagnosis can best be made using clinical tests along with nerve conduction studies and electromyography, conservative treatment can be effective in treating this neuropathy in mild cases; in moderate or severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome / therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Elbow / innervation*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / etiology
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / therapy*
  • Ulnar Nerve* / anatomy & histology
  • Ulnar Nerve* / pathology
  • Ulnar Nerve* / physiopathology