Ulnar Neuropathy |Symptoms and Treatment | MedStar Health
woman makes an okay sign with her right hand

A common indicator of ulnar neuropathy is the inability to make an OK sign with the injured hand.

The ulnar nerve runs from the shoulder, through the elbow, and to the tips of the fingers. It controls the bending of the elbow and movements of the fingers. When a patient is suffering from ulnar neuropathy, they will often report a loss of sensation, mobility, coordination, or weakness in the hand and arm, which affects regular movements. Symptoms also include pain, burning, itching, and tingling in the area of the ulnar nerve.

Ulnar neuropathy occurs when the ulnar nerve is damaged or pinched due to trauma (like from an accident), certain prolonged or repetitive motions, and other conditions (like diabetes, arthritis, or broken bones). If the symptoms are believed to be caused by another disorder, doctors will look to treat the patient’s underlying disease while also treating the symptoms. The most common treatments for ulnar neuropathy include physical therapy, bracing devices, anti-inflammatory medication, anticonvulsants, and injection therapy for pain. In some cases, when the nerve is severely damaged or compressed, the patient may need to undergo surgery to release the nerve and alleviate symptoms.

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