If you are plagued by constant pain in your little or ring finger and elbow, then there is a high possibility that you might be suffering from CuTS or Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. This is a kind of repetitive stress injury which produces weird sensations in your body. When your ulnar nerve becomes damaged, stressed, or pinched, it leads to CuTS. Though it doesn’t sound dangerous, CuTS, if left untreated for too long, can lead to high amount of pain and may leave your hand unusable. Below you’ll find all the information about this procedure to dispel any doubs.
Always Consult a Specialist
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome requires a nerve surgeon to look at it, and they must have prior experience dealing with this sort of problem. If the symptoms of CuTS is extreme in your case and lasts for a long period of time, then you should consult a surgeon as soon as possible. Ask any questions you have so that it gets cleared up. If you think that your surgeon doesn’t have in-depth knowledge of CuTS, then you should definitely seek a second opinion.
Testing for CuTS
Most doctors will recommend an NCV test if they suspect CuTS. However, this test is more useful when it comes to measuring the speed of the impulses that travel through the ulnar nerve. An EMG test is performed on the muscles present in the forearm that control the ulnar nerve. When your muscles don’t work properly, it could be due to nerve damage. The reduced velocity traveling via the ulnar nerve can detect CuTS properly. It has been found that the NCV test is a suitable indicator of CuTS instead of EMG as NCV focuses directly on the nerve.
Your doctor conducted an EMG test as well as an NCV test, and the results came negative. However, this does not in any way indicate that you are free of CuTS symptoms and pain. A pinched nerve may often be responsible for muscle weakness, pain, and number. However, if only a part of the nerve is affected and the compression on the nerve is minimal, then it’s likely that the test results will be negative. Don’t put an end to medical care. Press your doctor to provide a solution. If your muscle pain persists, then there might be something wrong with your nerves, no matter what the tests indicate.
Understanding the Root of the Problem
The symptoms of CuTS appear when the ulnar nerve is damaged or pinched. Thus, the best method to cure CuTS is to figure out which activity caused the nerve to become pinched in the first place, and then stop those activities. You can then proceed with the treatment through surgery.
Most physicians ask patients to try some conservative treatments before undergoing nerve surgery. However, in cases where CuTS is severe or the injury is extreme, the need for surgery is immediate. Conservative treatment involves wearing a splint that will keep the arm straight during activities like physical therapy, sleeping, using technology and tools, indulging in work habits, and using medication to lower the pain.
However, no matter what, you shouldn’t wait too long before you get surgery. Even if your condition isn’t severe, there’s no telling when it can take a turn for the worse. So be sure to get it treated at once. The worse the condition gets, the less your chances become for complete recovery. If the symptoms of CuTS still remain after conservative treatment for a few months, you should definitely go for nerve surgery.
While some surgeons prefer transposition methods for CuTS surgery, others opt for ulnar decompression. Ulnar transposition is a lot more invasive, and requires your arm to be immobilized for a long time. Moreover, the recovery rate is twice the amount of time it takes during decompression. Despite these drawbacks, there are several reasons for choosing transposition surgery instead of decompression. Though the reasons vary from one patient to another, your surgeon might suggest transposition due to the severity of your condition and the clawing of your hand.