Answers to Common Hand and Wrist Questions

Premier Health providers answers frequently asked questions about common hand and wrist conditions.

How do you distinguish between cubital tunnel syndrome and a pinched nerve somewhere else?

Dr. Matthew Cavo talks about the difference between a pinched nerve and cubital tunnel syndrome. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

How do you distinguish between cubital tunnel syndrome and a pinched nerve somewhere else?

Patients can have pinched nerves in multiple places, along the same nerve course. So, when patients hear of a pinched nerve in their neck, it's a similar situation to what's going on with the cubital tunnel pinched nerve in the elbow. And actually, you can have the same exact nerve pinched in the neck, that is pinched in the elbow.

So, in order to distinguish between the two, a thorough physical exam needs to be performed, and often the nerve study itself is able to distinguish between a pinched nerve in the neck, which we call a radiculopathy, and a pinched nerve in the elbow, which is cubital tunnel.

   

Patients can have pinched nerves in multiple places, along the same nerve course. When patients hear of a pinched nerve in the neck, it's a similar situation to what's going on with the cubital tunnel pinched nerve in the elbow. You can have the same exact nerve pinched in the neck that is pinched in the elbow.

To distinguish between the two, a thorough physical exam is needed. An electromyography (EMG) nerve study can usually distinguish between a pinched nerve in the neck, which we call a radiculopathy, and a pinched nerve in the elbow, which is cubital tunnel.

Source: Beth Berrettoni, MD, Hand and Reconstructive Surgeons and Associates; Matthew Cavo, MD, Hand and Reconstructive Surgeons and Associates; Krista Storms, OT, Premier Health

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