J Hand Microsurg 2018; 10(02): 82-85
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1626685
Original Article
Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.

Surgical Treatment of Cubital Tunnel in Pediatric Athletes

Daniel P. Quinn
1   Department of Hand Surgery, Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Alex Gu
2   Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Jeffrey A. Greenberg
1   Department of Hand Surgery, Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Thomas J. Fischer
1   Department of Hand Surgery, Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Gregory A. Merrell
1   Department of Hand Surgery, Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.
Further Information

Publication History

Received: 28 August 2017

Accepted: 04 January 2018

Publication Date:
20 March 2018 (online)


Background Cubital tunnel syndrome is the second most common upper extremity peripheral nerve entrapment syndrome. In particular, cubital tunnel has been documented occasionally in young, throwing athletes.

Materials and Methods Billing databases were searched for patients undergoing surgical decompression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow, who were age 18 or younger at the time of surgery. Charts were reviewed and patients were included if they had an isolated mononeuropathy consistent with cubital tunnel syndrome and were symptomatic. Data on age of onset, duration of symptoms, Dellon classification, nerve subluxation, provocative testing results, nerve conductions, and exacerbating activities were abstracted. Patients were contacted for a postsurgical follow-up questionnaire.

Results Seven patients were identified. The average age was 16, and duration of symptoms was 7 months. All seven patients had normal electrodiagnostic studies and had failed a course of conservative treatment. All were satisfied with surgery and felt improvement. One stopped playing their sport, and three had mild symptoms with varied activities.

Conclusion Although uncommon, pediatric cubital tunnel syndrome does occur. Surgical release improves symptoms and return to activities. Nevertheless, some degree of symptoms often persists. Electrodiagnostic studies may be negative in many patients with an otherwise consistent history and examination.

Level of Evidence This is a level IV therapeutic study.

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