Ulnar neuropathy can cause disabling weakness and lack of sensation in part of the hand and arm. With this condition, the ulnar nerve is constricted by a tightening of the band of fascia known as the cubital tunnel. This band usually bears down on the nerve due to inflammation, injury, or anatomical anomalies. Our surgeons employ the endoscopic cubital tunnel release as a minimally invasive procedure for decompressing the ulnar nerve in the elbow region. It is a short procedure, usually performed under local anesthesia, with expected return to normal activity in three weeks.
The procedure begins in one of our Houston offices with a small incision at the elbow, through which an endoscope with a camera is threaded. Once the nerve and surrounding fascia are located, a blade is inserted to cut away the fascia that forms the roof of the tunnel, releasing the ulnar nerve. This is performed both proximally (upward) from the elbow and distally (downward) toward the hand to assure the nerve is free from constraints over the entire area surrounding the elbow.
Recovery is quick, with most patients resuming normal activity in about three weeks.