The cubital tunnel release outpatient procedure is performed under general or regional anesthesia to alleviate compression of the ulnar nerve. This nerve travels along the inner side of the elbow and down to the hand.
Anesthesia is administered, and the patient is positioned to allow access to the inner side of the arm. The area is cleaned and sterilized. The surgeon makes an incision along the inner side of the elbow to access the cubital tunnel, the open space surrounded by muscle and bone that provides a channel for the ulnar nerve.
The surgeon carefully opens the roof of the cubital tunnel at the site of the compression, creating more space for the ulnar nerve. The nerve is often moved out of the tunnel and repositioned along a new path to prevent it from being compressed in the future. If the nerve is compressed in multiple places, more than one section of the tunnel may require treatment.
Once complete, the incision is closed with sutures and the arm is bandaged and placed in a splint. The patient is allowed to go home the same day. Physical therapy may be required after the arm has healed.