Conservative treatment of ulnar nerve compression at the elbow: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Review written by Dr Val Jones info

Key Points

  1. Ulnar nerve compression at the elbow is a commonly encountered upper limb peripheral neuropathy.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Compression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow is the second most common peripheral neuropathy of the upper limb (1). Previous studies have shown that the incidence of cubital tunnel syndrome (CTS) is 24.7 cases per 100,000 persons per year (2). The diagnostic evaluation for ulnar neuropathy at the elbow (UNE) include patient history, physical examination, and electrodiagnostic study. If left untreated ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow can lead to sensory and motor loss at the hand, with conservative treatment recommended, before surgical intervention is considered.

The results of conservative treatment options, however, for ulnar compression at the elbow have not been clearly determined. The aim of this review was to evaluate available conservative treatment options and their effectiveness for ulnar nerve compression at the elbow.

Compression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow is the second most common peripheral neuropathy of the upper limb.
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Relying solely on large fibre tests in clinical practice may not be sufficient to assess patients with suspected entrapment neuropathies.

METHODS

  • 3 electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, and CENTRAL) were searched for randomized controlled trials, cohort studies and case control studies, looking at the effects of conservative treatment on the symptoms of ulnar nerve compression of the elbow. Data was analyzed via
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