The ulnar nerve is one of the main nerves in your hand that provides feeling and helps with function. Ulnar tunnel syndrome can result in pain or weakness and make it difficult to enjoy some of your favorite activities, such as playing golf, biking, and lifting weights.
Ulnar tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve becomes compressed in the wrist. This creates pressure on the nerve, which can cause tingling and numbness in your little finger and along the outside of your ring finger. Additionally, this pressure can cause pain and make it hard to grip things.
There are a few different causes of ulnar tunnel syndrome, the most common being a benign cyst in the wrist. This syndrome can also develop from repetitive trauma, chronic pressure on your hand, or a sports-related injury, such as a broken hamate bone in the wrist from swinging a golf club into the ground.
The type of treatment for ulnar tunnel syndrome depends on what is causing the pressure on the nerve. If the pressure is mainly caused by the position of the wrist, one of these nonsurgical treatment options may be recommended:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Bracing or splinting
- Physical therapy
However, if the condition is caused by a growth in the wrist or a broken bone, a specialty-trained hand surgeon may recommend surgery.
For more information on ulnar tunnel syndrome or if you are experiencing elbow or hand pain, request an appointment online with one of our specialists at Appalachian Orthopedics or call (423) 434-6300.