What Treatments Are Available for Ulnar Nerve Pain Relief?


Quick Answer

There are both surgical and non-surgical treatments that can relieve ulnar nerve pain, according to OrthoInfo. Doctors are likely to recommend non-surgical treatments before resorting to surgery to lessen pressure on the nerve.

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Full Answer

Non-surgical treatments include taking an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofren to reduce swelling. In addition, it may be necessary to wear a splint while sleeping to keep the elbow straight. A simple nerve gliding exercise may also reduce pain and inflammation. The patient should first hold the arm out in front of the body and curl the wrist and then the hand backward and then forward before bending the elbow. This exercise aids the ulnar nerve in sliding through the cubital tunnel in the elbow and reduces stiffness in the arm, as reported by OrthoInfo.

Surgical treatments may prove necessary if non-surgical measures fail and the pain still persists. Cubital tunnel release is the process of enlarging the cubital tunnel that the ulnar nerve must slide through. If the compression is more pronounced, it may be necessary to perform an ulnar nerve anterior transposition, which consists of physically relocating the nerve from the outside of the medial epicondyle to the inside. The last option is to remove part of the medial epicondyle in a procedure known as medial epicondylectomy. An overnight stay is recommended for these procedures, but they can be performed on an outpatient basis, according to OrthoInfo.

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