Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ

Question:

My daughter started complaining of pain, weakness, and numbness in her right hand, especially the last two fingers. The doctor diagnosed it with special nerve tests as ulnar neuropathy of the elbow (UNE). Can you tell me what this means?

Answer:

Neuropathy is a general term that refers to any problem with the nerves. Any part of the nerve can be affected, but damage to the axon is most common. The axon sends signals or messages from one nerve cell to the next.

There are many possible reasons for neuropathy. Poor nutrition combined with chronic alcohol use, diabetes, or lead poisoning can cause neuropathies. Many people suffer from neuropathies without ever knowing the cause.

Complaints of symptoms of the last two fingers suggest involvement of the ulnar nerve. Once the location of the neuropathy is established, then the cause can be determined. Pressure on the nerve coming anywhere from the neck down to the wrist can cause this kind of clinical problem.

Carlos O. Heise, MD, and Sonia M. Toledo, MD. Mixed Latency Difference for Diagnosis of Ulnar Neuropathy at the Elbow. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. March 2006. Vol. 87. No. 3. Pp. 408-410.

*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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