Cubital Tunnel Release Surgery

Cubital Tunnel Release or Cubital Tunnel Decompression is a surgery to relieve patients suffering from Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, a condition which is also known as Ulnar Nerve Entrapment. Consultant surgeon Raj Bhatia carries out this surgery in his Bristol clinics. Cubital Tunnel Release surgery is usually performed under anaesthetic, however depending on circumstance it may be possible to perform this elbow surgery with only local or dissociative anaesthesia: Raj will discuss all your options with you.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

The Cubital Tunnel is the passage in the elbow allowing the Ulnar Nerve to travel through the arm. This nerve controls the majority of the muscles in your hand along with its both the ring and little finger. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome hpens when the walls of the Cubital Tunnel may thicken or swell, putting pressure on the Ulnar Nerve, which can result in a painful sensation in the hand, a lessened ability to control fingers or a weakness and numbness along the forearm to the tips of the fingers. This condition can be caused by repetitive strain of the elbow, as happens with regular phone use, hence the nickname ‘Cell Phone Elbow’.

Cubital Tunnel Release Surgery

During the surgery an incision is made into the inside of the patient’s elbow, allowing access to the Cubital Tunnel. The ligament making up the top of the Cubital Tunnel is cut, releasing the pressure on the the Ulnar Nerve. The tunnel re-heals will be larger allowing more space for the nerve to pass through.


Once the surgery is complete you should be able to go home the same day. After around ten days the surgery will be assessed and the stitches removed. Usually it will be possible to return to work within two weeks. A specialist hand therapists will help to oversee your recovery and rehabilitation.