Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ

Question:

I had a piece of the bone at my elbow removed to take pressure off the nerve. My elbow pain is better but the ring finger and little finger on that side are still numb. I'm also having trouble bending my elbow, which wasn't a problem before the operation. Will these problems go away in time, or am I stuck like this forever?

Answer:

The ulnar nerve on the inner side of the elbow and forearm can get pinched or compressed causing problems. One way to treat this condition is by removing part or all of the bone along the inside of the elbow. The operation is called an epicondylectomy.

It sounds like you may have had a minimal or partial epicondylectomy. Elbow pain, finger numbness, and loss of elbow flexion are common after this operation. In most cases these symptoms resolve or go away on their own. You should see a gradual improvement from 30 days to three months.

Elbow pain and function is often better after this operation but many patients still report mild to moderate pain even years later.

Dimitrios G. Efstathopoulos, MD, DSc, et al. Outcome of Partial Medial Epicondylectomy for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. March 2006. No. 444. Pp. 134-139.

*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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