Information About Ulnar Nerve Entrapment And Impingement Injuries
Abington Car Accident And Personal Injury Lawyers
The ulnar nerve is a nerve that runs from the shoulder, to the forearm (ulna bone) and down into the hand. The nerve transmits signals from the brain to the hand and the hand to the brain. These signals are responsible for movement, feeling and sensation in the forearm and hand. An injury to ulnar nerve can disrupt these signals and, therefore, effect movement and feeling in the forearm and hand.
The ulnar nerve is one of three nerves in the arm and it is the largest unprotected nerve in the body. Most nerves are protected by surrounding bone and muscles. The ulnar nerve is very susceptible to injury because it is not protected by surrounding bones or muscles.
Ulnar nerve injuries are caused by trauma, the aging process and pressure. The most common cause of ulnar nerve injury is ulnar nerve entrapment. The ulnar nerve can get entrapped or compressed (impinged) on its way from the shoulder to the hand. Ulnar nerve entrapment or compression occurs most frequently at the elbow.
Common Causes Of Ulnar Nerve Entrapment
When you bend your arm at the elbow the ulnar nerve gets pulled because it has to stretch around the bony tip of the elbow. Often times, keeping your elbow in a bent position for prolonged periods of time can cause ulnar nerve entrapment symptoms. People sometimes wake up in the morning with their elbow bent and a numbness or tingling sensation in their hands and fingers. The hand and fingers feel as though they have fallen asleep because the signals are interrupted when ulnar nerve is stretched and compressed around the tip of the elbow.
The following injuries are a common causes of ulnar nerve entrapment:
- Olecranon Fracture (Elbow)
- Distal Humerus Fracture at the Elbow
- Proximal Radial Head Fracture at the Elbow
- Forearm Fracture (Ulna and Radius Bone)
- Dislocated Elbow
All these bones are located near the ulnar nerve. A fracture in any one of these bones could compress or entrap the ulnar nerve.
Common symptoms of ulnar nerve entrapment are:
- Burning sensation in the forearm, hands or fingers;
- Numbness or tingling sensation in forearm, hand or fingers when writing, typing or engaging in other activities that require repetitive motion of the elbow, forearm, hands or fingers;
- Experiencing “Pins and needles” sensation in forearm, hands or fingers;
- Decrease strength in the forearm, hands or fingers; and/or
- Swelling in the elbow area.
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