Southern California Center for Neuroscience and Spine

Ulnar Nerve Entrapment / Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Ulnar nerve entrapment occurs when the ulnar nerve in the arm becomes compressed or irritated. The ulnar nerve is one of the three main nerves in your arm. It travels from your neck down on the back side of your elbow and into your hand to your little finger and part of your ring finger. This nerve can become pinched or constricted in several places along the way. Depending upon where it occurs, this pressure on the nerve can cause numbness or pain in your elbow, hand, wrist, or fingers.

Sometimes the ulnar nerve gets compressed at the wrist, beneath the collarbone, or as it comes out of the spinal cord in the neck. The most common place where the nerve gets compressed is behind the elbow. When the nerve compression occurs at the elbow, it is called "cubital tunnel syndrome."


There are several different causes of ulnar nerve entrapment or cubital tunnel syndrome. Some people have this nerve irritated from sleeping with their elbow bent or bending their elbow repetitively thoughout the day. Leaning on your elbow for long periods of time can also cause the nerve to become irritated. Adirect blow to the inside of the elbow can also cause irritation to the nerve and create and electric shock like feeling. This is sometimes referred to as "hitting your funny bone".


Some people refer to their hand or ring/little fingers falling asleep or having a numbing sensation. This occurs most often when the elbow is bent such as when they are sleeping, driving or holding a phone up to their ear. Weakening of the grip is also a symptom of unlar nerve entrapment. In severe cases, muscle wasting or atrophy of the hand can occur. This is why it is extremely important to consult a physician should you have the above symptoms.


As with all diagnosis measures it is necessary to get a medical history in order to rule out other conditions. Your physician will examine your arm to determine which nerve is compressed. Your physician may also tap over the nerve (or funny bone as some people call it). Your elbow may also be checked to see if the ulnar nerve slides out of position when the elbow is bent. Other tests may be done on your shoulder or neck to rule out other nerve conditions and to see if any movements irritate the ulnar nerve. X-rays and Nerve Conduction Studies may also be done in order to positively diagnose ulnar nerve syndrome.

Brain & Neurological Conditions Treated and Symptoms

Abnormalities of the brain, spinal cord or nerves can cause life-changing symptoms. Paralysis, seizures, pain poor coordination , muscle weakness and loss of sensation are all potential consequences of a neurological condition.

The field of neurological disorders is highly complex and treatment requires the most experienced surgeons and technologically advances procedures to be a success. Our team of expert surgeons at SCCNS is dedicated to providing all of our patients with the most advanced technology and most minimally invasive treatment possible.



Cervical Spine

There are numerous medical conditions and injuries that may affect the cervical spine. Any medical condition or injury affecting or injury affecting the spine may cause a great deal of pain, limited mobility and other serious problems. Acute prolonged pain affecting a person's ability to function normally should not ignored as there may be underlying conditions that need to be treated. Because there are many things that can cause neck pain, accurate diagnosis and treatment by an expert spine doctor may give patients a chance to regain their mobility and get their life back.

Treatments may include physical therapy, pain management, and or surgery if necessary. Our experts are committed to providing quality care with the most minimally invasive treatment possible.



The Lumbar Spine

Lower back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States. Nearly everyone at some point in their life will have back pain that interferes in their daily activities, their work or recreation. Short-term back pain usually corrects itself in as little as a few days to a few weeks. However more serious pain such as shooting or stabbing pain in the back or legs causing limited mobility or range of motion, including the inability to stand straight or injuries caused from trauma should be diagnosed by a expert spine doctor to rule out serious spine conditions. Elderly patients are also susceptible to a multitude of spine conditions which may be treated allowing them to live a more active life. Various treatments are available. We believe that it is important to educate our patients on all available treatment options. Conditions we treat include, but are not limited to:

*SCCNS is one of the few centers certified to perform the only FDA approved implant system surgery for SI Joint Dysfunction. We are proud to have two of the few hysicians in California able to teach this surgery and newly founded techniques of the iFuse Implant System.

Treatments we treat include, but are not limited to:

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