Cubital Tunnel of Hate!!!
October 18, 2012 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Ulnar nerve anterior transposition surgery experiences. Have one? Please share!

Looking for good, bad, indifferent. Were you able to avoid the surgery with alternative methods of relief? If so, what worked for you? If you HAD the surgery, what was the recovery time and were you back to 100% at the end of the recovery period? Any other tips, observations, gotchas would be appreciated, mefites! Thanks in advance...
posted by littleredwagon to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had this done a few years ago. Recovery time was faster than I expected. I didn't do any physical therapy (I don't even know if it's prescribed for this). I was back to lifting weights in a normal routine in 6 weeks. I couldn't believe it.

The surgery itself went fine, and I was amazed that I could move my hand normally immediately after I woke up. The numbness in my fingers took almost 9 months to go away.
posted by sanka at 9:53 AM on October 18, 2012

I had a number of issues including (or mimicking) cubital tunnel syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. I had a carpal tunnel release that did not help, but that's probably because CTS wasn't really my issue.

What did help was a lot of time, massage, and very very very gentle stretching as described in Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Repetitive Strain Injuries: A Self-Care Program. IANAD, but I suspect that surgery is avoidable quite often and that doctors are not well-acquainted with the kind of soft-tissue work that is necessary to fix these problems.
posted by callmejay at 10:13 AM on October 18, 2012

I had this a couple of years ago. (At least I had an ulnar nerve transposition, and based on the pictures I see on the web, it looks like what's described there as an anterior transposition.)

In my case, it was pretty clear that the damage to my nerve was going to keep getting worse without surgical intervention. (I had done a little physical therapy at first, and when the physical therapist saw my X-rays she said "yeah, what we do here isn't going to help you.") I was given a 12-18 month recovery estimate. After the surgery, the weakness and numbness in my hand immediately stopped getting worse, and now, a year and a half later, it is mostly back to normal. (The damage was bad enough that they warned me I might be left with some slight residual numbness, so I may indeed be done with my recovery.) I also didn't do any physical therapy post-surgery.

My impression is that thanks to overkeyboarding this surgery has become completely routine; my surgeon says he does about 70 a year.

You can check my Ask history for questions I asked about ulnar transposition at the time; there were several useful answers...
posted by escabeche at 5:23 PM on October 18, 2012

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