2. Ulnar Neuropathies:


Ulnar neuropathy is an inflammation or compression of the ulnar nerve, resulting in paresthesia (numbness, tingling, and pain) in the outer side of the arm and hand near the little finger.


The ulnar nerve transmits impulses to muscles in the forearm and hand. The nerve is responsible for the proper sensing of touch, texture, and temperature throughout the fourth and fifth digits of the hand, the palm, and the underside of the forearm. Ulnar neuropathy arises most commonly because of damage to the nerve as it passes through the wrist. The elbow is also a frequent site of nerve damage. Ulnar neuropathy is variously known as bicycler’s neuropathy, cubital tunnel syndrome, Guyon or Guyon’s canal syndrome, and tardy ulnar palsy.


Ulnar neuropathy that originates at the elbow is very common. Estimates are that 40% of Americans experience some form of this neuropathy at some point in their lives. While the ulnar nerve is structurally identical in men and women, men tend to develop ulnar neuropathy more than women. This is because men generally do not have as much fat overlaying the elbow, and so the underlying nerve can be more susceptible to irritationand damage.

The onset of ulnar neuropathy can occur slowly. As a result, many of those who are affected are middle-aged or older adults. Demographic risk factors include a family history of diabetes, alcoholism, and presence of human immunodeficiency virus. Because leaning on the elbows can trigger ulnar neuropathy, people such as telephone operators, receptionists, and those who operate computers for extended periods of time are at risk for developing the disorder.