Cubital Tunnel Syndrome – a Review of Surgical Treatments and Comparison of their Outcomes

Authors: I. Humhej;  M. Sameš
Authors‘ workplace: Neurochirurgická klinika ­Univerzity J. E. Purkyně, Krajská zdravotní a. s., Masarykova nemocnice v Ústí nad Labem, o. z.
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2010; 73/106(5): 510-516
Category: Review Article


This review describes surgical approaches to cubital tunnel syndrome (CuTS). It includes historical notes, together with an account of the advantages and disadvantages of each surgical modality. It provides a literature review of the results of surgical methods treating CuTS, focusing especially on those studies that compare particular surgical modalities. Although there is no consensus as to the most effective type of surgery for CuTS, there is a growing tendency towards simple decompression leaving the nerve in situ, without transposition. This involves minimum damage to neighbouring structures, especially the blood vessels of the nerve. Other advantages include relative simplicity of procedure and short operation time. Further, it enables immediate rehabilitation and speedy recovery with only minimum absence from normal life. This review also mentions development of the endo­scopic and ­endoscopically-assisted techniques in the therapy of the CuTS (similar to those of other entrapment syndromes) that contribute to minimization of invasive procedures. In patients in whom it is necessary to perform a transposition of the nerve (due to subluxation of the nerve in elbow flexion, elbow deformity or local anatomical circumstances), many authors prefer anterior subcutaneous or submuscular transposition (with or without Z-plastic). In patients with relapsing or persistent CuTS, most authors use anterior submuscular transposition.

Key words:
ulnar nerve – sulcus nervi ulnaris syndrome – cubital tunnel syndrome – surgery


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