Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ


I've heard of carpal tunnel but what is cubital tunnel syndrome? One of the workers in our office says she has this new problem.


Cubital tunnel syndrome refers to a group of symptoms very much like carpal tunnel syndrome but in the elbow instead of the wrist and hand. The cubital tunnel runs alongside the elbow. It's not really a tunnel as much as it's a shallow groove where the nerve travels.

Anything that puts pressure on the ulnar nerve here can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. A tight muscle, scar tissue, or thickening of the fascia can contribute to the problem. Keeping the elbow bent for long periods of time while working at a computer can also make matters worse.

Other workers at risk include those who use repetitive elbow motions like to shovel or hammer. Lifting, using power tools, and leaning on a desk or table can cause or aggravate the symptoms. Drivers, shoemakers, and musicians can be added to the list of workers at risk for this condition.

Tina DiMarcantonio. Make the Right Call: When is an Upper Extremity Condition Work-Related? In Orthopedics Today. February 2006. Vol. 26. No. 2. Pp. 22-23.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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