Imaging appearance following surgical decompression of the ulnar nerve

Br J Radiol. 2019 Feb;92(1094):20180757. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20180757. Epub 2018 Nov 1.


Ulnar neuropathy at the elbow is the second most common entrapment neuropathy of the upper extremity. Yet, there is a paucity of literature focusing on the imaging appearance following surgical decompression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow. Diagnostic imaging studies obtained after surgical decompression at The University of Michigan were reviewed and imaging findings were documented. We aim to describe the various techniques of ulnar nerve decompression and corresponding post-operative appearance on imaging. Potential complications following decompression will also be described with imaging and clinical correlation of recalcitrant ulnar neuropathy. It is important for the radiologist who performs MRI or ultrasound of the elbow to be aware of the various ulnar nerve decompression procedures. This knowledge will facilitate rapid and accurate diagnosis of normal and abnormal appearance of the ulnar nerve in this context.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decompression, Surgical* / adverse effects
  • Elbow / anatomy & histology*
  • Elbow / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnostic imaging
  • Ulnar Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Ulnar Nerve / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ulnar Nerve / surgery
  • Ultrasonography