Comparative study of different surgical transposition methods for ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow

J Int Med Res. 2011;39(5):1766-72. doi: 10.1177/147323001103900519.


This study compared the therapeutic effects of two techniques for surgical decompression treatment for ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow: subcutaneous transposition and modified submuscular transposition with Z-lengthening of the pronator teres origin. A total of 278 patients with ulnar nerve entrapment (McGowan grades I - III) were randomly assigned to undergo one of these techniques. All patients were followed-up for 2 years. The effects were assessed by preoperative and postoperative cross-sectional area, motor conduction velocity, sensory conduction velocity and nerve action potential. All of these parameters improved after surgery in both groups. For patients with grade I disease, there were no significant differences between the two techniques. For patients with grade II and III disease, modified submuscular transposition was associated with significantly greater improvements compared with subcutaneous transposition. In conclusion, subcutaneous ulnar nerve transposition is recommended for grade I patients and modified submuscular ulnar nerve transposition for grade II and III patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Decompression, Surgical / methods*
  • Elbow / diagnostic imaging
  • Elbow / innervation
  • Elbow / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ulnar Nerve / diagnostic imaging
  • Ulnar Nerve / pathology
  • Ulnar Nerve Compression Syndromes / diagnostic imaging
  • Ulnar Nerve Compression Syndromes / surgery*
  • Ultrasonography