Cubital tunnel syndrome come with some glaring symptoms such as:
Numbness and tingling sensation running down from the elbow to the ring and little finger
Weakness in the hand and clumsiness when gripping objects
Pain and discomfort of the affected arm
If you notice any of the symptoms, make an appointment with an orthopaedic specialist to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Dr Puah KL is our Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Artisan Sports & Orthopaedic Surgery. He used to serve the sports service of Singapore General Hospital - the highest volume trauma centre for orthopaedics in Singapore.
Most individuals with cubital tunnel syndrome have reported excruciating pain or discomfort.
However, the level of pain may be masked if you are consuming NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If the condition is painless and patients face loss of sensation, treatment must be administered immediately.
Who is at risk of cubital tunnel syndrome in Singapore?
There are some patterns of occurrence of cubital tunnel syndrome.
Some factors increasing the risk of the condition include:
Desk job workers: an increase in the incidence of cubital tunnel syndrome has been observed in conjunction with the steady increase of desk job employees. Attributed to the lack of ergonomic work setup, cubital tunnel syndrome occurs among those who lean on their elbow during work.
Manual workers: jobs that require the usage of tools with protracted periods of elbow flexion.
Health condition: individuals with osteoarthritis and arthritis are prone to cubital tunnel syndrome. Additionally, patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and obesity are also prone to cubital tunnel syndrome.
How is cubital tunnel syndromediagnosed?
There is a sequential process in diagnosing cubital tunnel syndrome.
Below are some examination and potential diagnostic tests that will be ordered:
Physical examination and medical history: an elbow flexion test will be conducted during your physical examination on top of an investigation of your medical and lifestyle history.
Nerve conduction test: conducted to investigate the receptivity of nerve signals and to identify if any alteration of sensation has occurred.
Electromyography (EMG): an EMG is often prescribed and would be necessary if an incidence of impinged nerves is suspected.
X-ray: if your orthopaedist suspects there may be an incidence of fracture or presentation of arthritis or osteoarthritis, you would be advised to undergo an x-ray.
Blood tests: blood tests would also be requested if patients are suspected of undiagnosed diabetes.
What are the treatment options for cubital tunnel syndrome in Singapore?
Splint/sling: you may be advised to wear a splint or a sling while asleep to promote healing in the affected area.
Physiotherapy: physiotherapy involving gentle and therapeutic exercises will be advised upon recovery to improve range of motion and recover mobility which would also include hand therapy.