Ulnar neuropathy: evaluation and management

Abstract

Ulnar neuropathy is commonly encountered, both acutely after elbow trauma and in the setting of chronic compression neuropathy. Careful clinical evaluation and discerning evaluation of electrodiagnostic studies are helpful in determining the prognosis of recovery with nonoperative and operative management. Appreciation of the subtleties in clinical presentation and thoughtful consideration of the timing and type of surgical intervention are critical to optimizing outcomes after treatment of ulnar neuropathy. The potential need for decompression at both the cubital tunnel and Guyon’s canal must be appreciated. Supplementation of decompression with supercharged end-to-side nerve transfer can expedite motor recovery of the ulnar intrinsic muscles in the appropriately selected patient. The emergence of nerve transfer techniques has also changed the management of acute ulnar nerve injuries.

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Correspondence to Susan E. Mackinnon.

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Christopher J. Dy and Susan E. Mackinnon declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Elbow Soft Tissue Surgery

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Dy, C.J., Mackinnon, S.E. Ulnar neuropathy: evaluation and management. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med 9, 178–184 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12178-016-9327-x

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Keywords

  • Cubital tunnel
  • Guyon’s canal
  • Ulnar neuropathy
  • Ulnar nerve transposition
  • Ulnar nerve compression