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Spire Manchester Hospital





Ulnar Nerve Compression

What is Ulnar nerve decompression?

This is an operation, which is carried out under general or occasionally local anaesthetic as a day case procedure. All jewellery, nail varnish and false nails must be removed from the hand to be operated upon. It involves releasing the pressure on the ulnar nerve as it passes through the cubital tunnel. The roof of the tunnel is divided to remove the pressure on the nerve.

Why do I need the operation?

The trapping of the nerve at the elbow produces tingling in the little finger, weakness of the hand and some pain in the forearm and hand. This usually comes on over several months although occasionally it can be quite sudden. You may notice some thinning of the muscles in the hand.

What happens after the operation?

A padded bandage will be applied to your elbow and a sling may sometimes be used to make you more comfortable.

You will be allowed home when you are comfortable.

If the elbow becomes sore, simple painkillers such as paracetamol,co-codamol etc should be sufficient.

After 2-3 days the padded dressing can be removed; this can be doneby yourself or a District/Practice Nurse. There may have been a smallamount of bleeding onto the dressing; this is normal. After this, thewound needs a simple dressing to protect it and the wound shouldnot be got wet for about 10 days.

Normally dissolving stitches are used and only the ends needtrimming at 10-14 days, however this is not always the case and if non-absorbable sutures are used, these will be removed by the District or Practice Nurse.

Follow up is normally arranged at approximately 2-6 weeks after your operation.


The Manchester Orthopaedic Group has three hand and wrist surgeons. Steve Royle , Jochen Fischer and Mohammed Waseem are established consultants. They are able to offer a range of treatments for various conditions from carpal tunnel syndrome to wrist arthritis.

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