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Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome

Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome

Wrist pain can keep you from doing both things you love to do and things you need to do to go about life. Ulnar tunnel syndrome can cause debilitating pain that can prevent you from doing that. Caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist, ulnar tunnel syndrome can also cause tingling and numbness in the hand. There is no reason to suffer from the pain and disability of ulnar tunnel syndrome when you can get help at Advanced Orthopedics in Denver, Parker, or Aurora, Colorado. The orthopedic specialists at Advanced Orthopedics have extensive experience and are well-trained in treating ulnar tunnel syndrome. In their care, you can get back to your normal routine.


Ulnar tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve is compressed at the wrist. This reduces blood flow to the nerve and can harm its function. When compressed at the wrist, the malfunction of the nerve can cause numbness and tingling in the little finger (pinky) and the outside of the ring finger. As the median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel in your hand, the ulnar nerve passes through Guyon’s canal at your wrist. For this reason, it may be called Guyon’s canal syndrome. Because of how it affects grip, it is often called handlebar palsy.


The ulnar nerve is one of the arm’s primary nerves. It controls nearly all of the small muscles in the hand. Although the ulnar nerve begins at the armpit, it doesn’t perform a function until it enters the forearm. As a motor (movement) nerve, the ulnar nerve stimulates muscles in the forearm, hand, and fingers, so you can bend and straighten the pinky and ring fingers, grip and hold items and perform fine motor tasks like writing with a pen, buttoning a shirt or turning pages in a magazine. As a sensory nerve, the ulnar nerve gives feeling to the pinky finger, the side of the ring finger closest to the pinky finger, and the palm and back of the hand on the pinky side. As the largest nerve in the body not protected by muscle or bone, the ulnar nerve is prone to injury.


Ulnar tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve becomes compressed as it passes through Guyon’s canal where the wrist meets the palm. This is not to be confused with cubital tunnel syndrome which occurs when the ulnar nerve compression is at the elbow. When the ulnar nerve is compressed at the wrist it reduces blood flow to the nerve and can harm its function. Over time, permanent damage to the ulnar nerve may develop, which can lead to permanent numbness, weakness, pain and tingling in the wrist or hand.

Read more about Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome on our new Orthopedic News Site – Colorado Orthopedic News. Schedule an appointment with a wrist specialist today.

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