The elbow is a hinge joint that connects the upper arm and lower arm. It consists of three bones; the humerus, radius, and ulna. Each bone is capped with cartilage and a complex array of ligaments and tendons from various muscles that cross over the joint. On the inside of the elbow is the ulnar nerve. It runs through a structure called the cubital tunnel and it is a common site where the nerve can be irritated. This is also what gets injured when you hit your funny bone!
Cubital tunnel can occur for a variety of reasons:
A comprehensive history and physical examination is the most important piece to determine if the ulnar nerve is involved in your elbow pain. Electrodiagnostic studies (EMG/NCS) look at the health and quality of your nerves. It can determine how severely the nerve may be damaged and at what location you nerve symptoms originate. Ultrasound is used to visualize the nerve and determine if there is any injury or swelling within the nerve.
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