Ulnar Nerve Decompression Surgery

[Dr. Williams] We are now two months from a decompression of the Ulnar Nerve. It was a revision on the inside of the elbow. There was an incision from here to here (gestures). It was a revision surgery. She had a previous decompression of the Ulnar Nerve with an insight to release meaning that the nerve was left in place behind the elbow approximately ten months ago. Can you tell us after the operation, did things changed for you and what symptoms you were having before the operation and what you were having right before surgery?


[Patient] What I was having before surgery was a lot of numbness and it would be shooting pain where it took away almost anything and everything that I did from typing to writing, to even just working with my students at work.


[Dr. Williams] And where was the shooting pain going to?


[Patient] It was going to two fingers: on my ring finger and on my last finger.


[Dr. Williams] Okay, and what made that worse? Was it from bending your elbow?


[Patient] Bending it, and sometimes just using it over and over again. Kind of the repetitiveness.


[Dr. Williams] And what we did for you, we performed a revision procedure where we performed a sub muscular transposition where we moved the nerve from behind your elbow to in front of your elbow and we put it under a muscle. And it’s been about two months. How does it feel now?


[Patient] It feels back to like totally normal. Not hurting, no numbness, no tingling, no nothing. I’m able to do what I need to be able to do as a mom and just able to do anything.


[Dr. Williams] How would you describe your recovery? Was it difficult after surgery? Were you in a cast or a splint? Or did we leave you moving?


[Patient] Pretty much the only thing you did was . . . well there was a drain and I could move my fingers, and it was wrapped, But then after that, you took that off about ten days after and I could move it right away and got to bend it.


[Dr. Williams] So we prefer to not put hard casts on patients, we like to have the elbow moving right away despite having cut muscle in half and sewn it back together again so the nerve can move and glide underneath the muscle and not get scar tissue which may have been one of the problems that might have occurred with her first operation. But also we move it from behind the elbow to in front of the elbow so it has a lot less pressure on itself. So, would you consider this a successful operation for you


[Patient] Yes I would!


[Dr. Williams] Alright, thank you very much. 

Eric H. Williams MD
Specializing in reconstructive surgery and pain relief in the Greater Baltimore area.