Ulnar Nerve Release, Definition, Process, Complications

Ulnar Nerve Release

Table Of Content

1. Ulnar Nerve Release Definition
2. Ulnar Nerve Release Prevention & warning
3. Ulnar Nerve Release Process
4. Ulnar Nerve Release Complications

What is ulnar nerve compression?

The ulnar nerve is a nerve that runs along the back of the inside of the elbow, through the narrow gap between the muscles of the forearm. Ulnar nerve compression occurs when there is increased pressure on the ulnar nerve. This usually results in numbness of the ring and little fingers.

When do I need to have ulnar nerve compression?

The goal of this surgery is to prevent more severe nerve damage. If the surgery is done early enough, the numbness in the hand may improve soon. For most people, this surgery is the best way to release the nerves so as to avoid permanent nerve damage.

Prevention & warning

What should I know before undergoing ulnar nerve compression?
Mild symptoms that usually appear at night can be temporarily treated with splints that keep your elbows straight while you sleep.


What should I do before undergoing ulnar nerve compression?

At the stage of preparation for surgery, make sure you tell your doctor about your health condition, medications you are taking, or any allergies you have. The anesthesiologist will explain the anesthetic procedure and give further instructions. Make sure you follow all the doctor’s instructions including the prohibition of eating and drinking before surgery. In general, you are required to fast for six hours before the surgery is performed. However, you may be allowed to drink beverages such as coffee a few hours before the surgery.

What is the process of ulnar nerve compression?

Various anesthetic techniques may be used for this procedure. The surgery usually takes 30 to 45 minutes. The surgeon will make a small incision behind the inside of the elbow, then cut away any tight tissue pressing on the nerve. If needed, the surgeon will remove a piece of bone or relocate a nerve.

What to do after undergoing ulnar nerve compression?

After the surgery, you are allowed to go home the same day. Rest your arm in the sling for a few days. Do light exercises for the fingers, elbows and shoulders to prevent stiffness. Regular exercise has also been shown to speed up the healing process. But before deciding to exercise, you should ask your doctor for advice. Patients usually require rehabilitation time of up to 18 months.


What complications can occur?

Every surgical procedure has its own risks, including ulnar nerve release. The surgeon will explain all kinds of risks that may occur after surgery. Common complications that can occur after surgery are post-anesthesia effects, excessive bleeding, and blood clots in the deep veins (deep vein thrombosis or DVT).

Patients undergoing ulnar nerve release are at risk for complications:

● The ring and little finger are still numb

numbness of the skin just below the tip of the elbow

● The scar hurts

severe pain, stiffness and loss of movement of the arms and hands (complex regional pain syndrome) You can reduce your risk of complications by following your doctor’s directions before surgery, such as fasting and stopping certain medications.

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