Ulnar Nerve Entrapment
Ulnar Nerve Entrapment: Also called ulnar neuritis, occurs when the ulnar nerve is being compressed or trapped. This causes radiating symptoms down the arm such as numbness and tingling on the pinky side of the hand. This nerve is in a vulnerable position where it can be exposed easily and injured by hitting it directly or stretched from an injury. There are cases of this nerve subluxing out of the groove, which is problematic if it causes residual pain and neurological symptoms. Often, anatomical changes such as a bone spur, arthritis, swelling or repetitive movements can cause this injury.
This is treated conservatively when initially diagnosed with medication, occupational therapy and bracing. Surgical treatment is recommended when the a patient fails conservative treatment, begins to develop atrophy of muscles or has been prolonged symptoms for over 3 months. The surgical procedure is called an open ulnar nerve transposition, where the nerve is moved out of a position where it is compression, i.e. the groove. Dr. Nicholson estimates recovery time for this procedure between 8-16 weeks, involving bracing and occupational therapy.