Ulnar Nerve Injury

Ulnar nerve entrapment occurs when the ulnar nerve in the arm becomes compressed or irritated. The ulnar nerve is one of the three main nerves in the arm. It travels from your neck down into your hand and can be constricted in several places. Depending on where the compression occurs this pressure can cause numbness or pain in your elbow, hand, wrist or fingers.

When bending the elbow, the ulnar nerve stretches around the bony ridge of the medial epicondyle. Because bending can irritate the nerve, keeping the elbow bent for long periods of time or repeated bending can cause pain. Patients who sleep with their elbow bent can experience this type of pain. Aggravation of the ulnar nerve can cause sleeplessness, numbness and nighttime pain.


  • Tingling or numbness in the ring and little finger
  • Weakening grip
  • Difficulty with finger coordination

If the nerve compression is severe and chronic, muscle wasting can occur in the hand. Muscle wasting cannot be reversed, so immediate diagnosis and treatment is a priority to prevent further deterioration of hand function.

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