The ulnar nerve supplies motor function and sensation to regions on the inside of the forearm and hand, and it runs through a tunnel of tissue around the elbow known as the cubital tunnel. When the ulnar nerve is compressed, it leads to numbness, pain and weakness on the medial side (inside) of the forearm and hand.
An ulnar nerve decompression surgery is utilized to relieve pressure from the ulnar nerve. After the incision is made on the inside of the elbow, the ulnar nerve is located and released from the cubital tunnel, as well as above and below the cubital tunnel, freeing it from compressive forces on the nerve. The nerve is typically transposed (moved) in front of the epicondyle during the procedure, securing it in a stable position to prevent it from moving back into the cubital tunnel. Therapy and a splint are recommended for a few weeks after the procedure to ensure proper healing and restoration of function.