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Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome

Condition Basics

What is ulnar tunnel syndrome?

Ulnar tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the ulnar nerve at the wrist. This nerve is found on the pinkie-finger side of the wrist.

Overuse or repetitive use of your hands or wrist may cause swelling or thickening of the tissues close to the ulnar nerve. Swelling from a ganglion can also affect the ulnar nerve. Bicycle riders may develop ulnar tunnel syndrome from holding on to the handlebars.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of ulnar tunnel syndrome include weakness, numbness and tingling, and pain in the ring finger, pinkie finger, or both.

How can you care for yourself when you have ulnar tunnel syndrome?

Treatment for ulnar tunnel syndrome includes:

  • Avoiding activities that cause the symptoms.
  • Applying ice.
  • Wearing a splint at night.
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medicines.

Credits

Current as of: March 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
David Messenger MD - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine

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