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Cases of “cell phone elbow,” where patients experience tingling or numbness in their ring and pinkie fingers, is not a new condition. Actually, it’s a condition that can be dated back to 1958.

Cubital tunnel syndrome, or cell phone elbow, is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in that the pinching of nerves results in tingling or numbness within the hand. However, in cubital tunnel syndrome, the nerve pinched is the ulnar nerve and the pinching occurs behind the elbow.

Bending the elbow for long periods of time like when using a cell phone, sleeping with your elbows bent, or holding your arms bent and by your head can cause cubital tunnel syndrome.

“Although symptoms may not be immediate, using these positions can aggravate the problem and progressively irritate the nerve,” says Dr. David Ernst at Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron.

Nonconservative treatments should be used first and include anti-inflammatory medications, splints, and avoidance of problem positions. If nerve damage has occurred, the following surgical treatment is offered by Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron, and could be considered:

Cubital Tunnel Release: A surgical procedure that involves moving the nerve from the back of the “bump” to the front to avoid pressure and allow the elbow to bend more smoothly and efficiently.

To consult with one of our doctors at Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron, please call (810) 985-4900 or click on the Appointment Request button.