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Ulnar nerve transposition is a surgery to move a nerve at the elbow. A new path will be made for the nerve to sit in.
This surgery is done in people with cubital tunnel syndrome. This happens when there is pressure on the ulnar nerve inside the elbow. It can lead to tingling and weakness in the arm. This surgery will ease the pressure on the nerve.
Pressure on the ulnar nerve can cause problems in the pinky and ring fingers of the hand.
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Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Some may be:
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to lower your risk of problems. Things that may raise your risk are:
Surgery may be done using:
A cut will be made near the inside of the elbow. The ulnar nerve will be located. It will be moved from behind the elbow to the front. The nerve will be seated in one of these places:
About an hour
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Medicine can help with pain after surgery.
At the Care Center
After surgery, the staff may:
During your stay, staff will take steps to lower your chances of infection by:
There are also steps you can take to lower your chances of infection, such as:
It will take a few weeks for the elbow to fully heal. Some activity will be limited for up to 4 weeks.
Call your doctor if you are not recovering or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Cubital tunnel syndrome. American Society for Surgery of the Hand website. Available at: http://www.assh.org/handcare/hand-arm-conditions/cubital-tunnel. Published 2015. Accessed December 9, 2019.
Palmer BA, Hughes TB. Cubital tunnel syndrome. J Hand Surg Am. 2010 Jan;35(1):153-163.
Soltani AM, Best MJ, Francis CS, Allan BJ, Panthaki ZJ. Trends in the surgical treatment of cubital tunnel syndrome: an analysis of the National Survey of Ambulatory Database. J Hand Surg. 2013;36(8):1551-1556.
Ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow (cubital tunnel syndrome). OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00069. Updated September 2015. Accessed December 9, 2019.
Ulnar nerve entrapment of elbow. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/ulnar-nerve-entrapment-of-elbow. Updated June 18, 2018. Accessed December 9, 2019.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT, GCS Last Updated: 9/11/2020