MedStar Health is pleased to offer nerve decompression surgery throughout the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore region. Our fellowship-trained elbow surgeons offer you the comprehensive care you need for an effective procedure and a successful recovery.

What is nerve decompression?

Also known as ulnar nerve release surgery, this procedure is used to treat cubital tunnel syndrome (ulnar nerve compression). In cubital tunnel syndrome, the nerve on the inside of your elbow (your ulnar nerve) becomes compressed due to an injury or overuse of the joint, causing numbness, tingling, and pain. To treat this condition, your orthopedic surgeon releases the pinched nerve in your elbow, relieving elbow pain and numbness and tingling associated with cubital tunnel syndrome.

What does nerve decompression involve?

Surgery for a pinched nerve in the elbow involves removing pressure on the ulnar nerve — sometimes called the “funny bone.” The below techniques will allow our surgeons to achieve decompression of the nerve:

  • Opening the tunnel where the nerve runs inside your elbow
  • Shifting the nerve to the front portion of the elbow
  • Trimming the inner part of the elbow, known as the medial epicondyle
  • Moving the nerve, either within muscle, under the muscle, or under a layer of fat

What does recovery involve?

After undergoing surgery, your recovery may involve one or more of the following, depending on your individual needs and the advice of our specialists at MedStar Health:

  • Physical therapy
  • Restricting movement
  • Exercise therapy
  • Arm splint
  • Pain medication
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

What are the benefits?

The benefits of visiting MedStar Health include:

  • Elbow pain relief
  • Relief from arm numbness or tingling
  • Restored range of motion
  • Improved dexterity
  • Improved range of motion
  • Ability to use the arm during physical activities after recovery

Why is nerve decompression performed?

This surgery is used to treat cubital tunnel syndrome, which is primarily the result of one or more of the following:

  • Direct blow to the elbow
  • Fluid buildup, causing swelling
  • Prolonged pressure on the elbow
  • Overuse of the elbow joint