Post Traumatic Ulnar Neuropathy

Ziv Wasrbrout Michael Chernofsky Shai Luria
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Israel

Background: Nerve compression at the elbow region is the most common type of ulnar nerve entrapment and termed cubital tunnel syndrome.

After elbow trauma, ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow has been termed post traumatic post traumatic ulnar neuropathy. There is little information about these patients.

The aim of this study was to examine the functional and clinical results of these patient who underwent cubital tunnel release following elbow trauma.

Methods: We retrospectively examined all patients who underwent surgical release of the ulnar nerve during the years 2008-2015. These patients underwent evaluation of elbow range of motion and function, pain in elbow and ulnar distribution (VAS score), ulnar nerve function evaluation and DASH questionnaire.

Results: Seven patients met the criteria of post traumatic ulnar neuropathy of the elbow. In all cases, release of the nerve was performed only to allow treatment of the elbow trauma and formal release only performed with continued symptoms at a later date. All patients showed only partial improvement of their ulnar function and all continued to suffer from elbow pain. One patient was treated with revision surgical release with no improvement.

Discussion: The results of surgical treatment of ulnar neuropathy at the elbow after trauma show partial improvement at best. It is possible that earlier formal release of the nerve will result in better clinical results.