Throughout the humeral weaving of the ulnar nerve, the allotted most honorable place, since it, starting in the forearm, reaches the hand. He is responsible for the mobility and sensitivity of the entire brachial plexus.
But with neuralgic diseases, the function of the ulnar nerve is disturbed. Various lesions of the ulnar nerve (neuropathy, neuritis, tunnel and cubital syndromes) are quite common and may be associated with a number of different factors.
Anatomical and physiological reference
It is impossible to understand what exactly caused the violation of the functions of the ulnar nerve without the most basic knowledge of the anatomy of the human body, since only in this way one can get a complete picture of the course of the nerve fibers in the elbow.
The ulnar nerve is a long nerve located in the brachial plexus. It consists of biological fibers CII-CVIII (7th and 8th cervical), which go directly from the spinal cord.
On the arm itself, the nerve falls straight from the armpit and moves into the intermuscular septum of the medial region in the middle of the shoulder and lies in the bone-fibrous canal, which is formed inside the shoulder, tendon and wrist. This channel in the medical literature is called kapitelny or Mush channel.
It is in this place that the ulnar nerve is located almost on the surface itself and as close as possible to the bones, and it is here that the compression of the nerve fibers most often occurs.
As a rule, everyone who injured his elbow at least once in his life, be it a fracture or a simple blow to the door handle, felt quite unpleasant sensations that cause an immediate exacerbation of the pain syndrome (you can also pulsate the nerve at any time and well feel it by touch).
After the fiber gradually goes beyond the limits of this channel, it is between the forearm muscles, but still some of its endings are in the muscle area. Moving to the border of the forearm, it is divided into several parts (external and rear), as well as a small palm branch, passing from the forearm to the palm of the ligament and wrist. This part of the human body is responsible for the perception of the external world – flexion and extension of the limb occur.
Anatomical knowledge contributes to the rapid diagnosis of pathology.
The ulnar nerve, its anatomy, functions and diseases in the program of Elena Malysheva:
Neuropathy is the most common disease of the ulnar nerve
Neuropathy of the ulnar nerve is a process of numbness and reduced sensitivity of the fingers and hand as a whole. The advanced stage of this disease leads to muscle atrophy, which can lead to complete numbness of the tips of the phalanges.
There are two types of ulnar neuropathy:
- Primary – the development of the inflammatory response does not depend on another pathological process occurring in the body. Most often this condition is observed in people who for a long time lean their elbows on the working surface of the machine or table, the armrest of the chair, etc.
- Secondary (or symptomatic) – A complication of a disease that already exists in humans. The most common cause of the development of degenerative-dystrophic changes is compression (pinching) of the ulnar nerve, which is characteristic of some diseases:
- osteoma – benign neoplasm of bone tissue;
- synovitis – inflammation of the synovial membrane;
- fractures and dislocations of the shoulder or forearm;
- bruised hands;
- tendovaginitis – inflammation of the inner articular membrane;
- osteoarthritis deformans – chronic diseases of cartilage and articular tissues;
- elbow bursitis – inflammation of the articular bag;
- posttraumatic arthrosis.
In some cases, neuropathy develops as a result of severe acute infectious disease (typhus or typhoid fever, tuberculosis, syphilis).
General clinical picture
In general, the defeat of the ulnar nerve in neuropathy is characterized by a violation of its basic functions, which leads to a decrease in mobility, pain, a decrease in the sensitivity of a particular muscle group and general malaise. The cause of this condition may be damage that was caused to the fiber during compression of a separate part of the elbow (this leads to pinching and damage to the nerve).
In addition, such damage can act as a separate and related disease.
Zones of numbness in neuropathy of the ulnar nerve
The symptoms of neuropathy of the ulnar nerve are as follows:
- decrease in the sensitivity of the limbs, which leads to the absence of pain;
- numbness of the limb, which impedes its mobility.
In order to establish damage to the ulnar nerve, a standard neurological examination is carried out, during which the causes and nature of the disease are ascertained. The most informative method of damage diagnosis is electroneuromyography. It allows you to determine with maximum accuracy the location and extent of damage to nerve fibers, as well as to determine the level of damage to the nerve roots that form the elbow joint.
With the current treatment of the patient, diagnosis of damage to the ulnar nerve is the fastest and most accurate procedure.
Neuropathy treatment consists of the following procedures:
- First of all, the patient is placed in the hospital, since the neuropathy of the ulnar nerve is a serious disease and without the constant supervision of a doctor, the patient’s condition can only worsen;
- painkillers are prescribed to reduce pain;
- An effective treatment for the disease is detoxification therapy, vitamins for maintaining the body, anti-inflammatory drugs on a non-steroid basis, which reduce the inflammatory process.
Symptoms and treatment of neuralgia
The origin of ulnar neuralgia can be different – somatic and infectious pathologies, injuries, prolonged compression.
The inflammatory process affects the fibers of the peripheral nerves and manifests itself:
- pain syndrome;
- numbness of the upper limb (violation of the passage of a nerve impulse to the brain);
- violation of the functional activity of the muscles of the hand.
Treatment of neuralgia of the elbow joint is complex and consists of the use of medical and physiotherapeutic methods:
- with the help of plaster langts, they fix the arm in a half-bent position and hang it in a special bandage – this way the cause of neuralgia is most often eliminated;
- antibacterial agents are prescribed for inflammatory reactions, antiviral agents for acute infectious diseases;
- to relieve swelling, it is necessary to take diuretic potassium-sparing drugs;
- B vitamins are considered to be an effective means to improve cellular metabolism;
- Papaverine is strongly recommended to improve trophism and blood circulation in the tissues;
- electrophoresis, amplitude-pulse and UHF are assigned to maintain the physiological tension of the nervous and muscular tissues;
- Massage sessions can be performed independently by the patient, starting from rubbing the tips of the fingers, flexing and extending the joints of the phalanges and hands.
Inflammation of the elbow area
Neuritis of the ulnar nerve is inflammation, accompanied by constant pain in the elbow joint, numbness of the limb and weakness of the entire muscle.
Symptoms of neuritis of the ulnar nerve:
- burning sensation in the elbow area;
- puffiness of a limb of pink-violet color;
- change in body temperature;
- drooping of the limb when overstressed.
Treatment consists of the following set of procedures:
- The first is the fixation of the brush to prevent it from hanging down. This is done using a compression bandage and, as a rule, the hand is completely immobilized.
- The next step in treatment is daily therapeutic exercises, taking anti-inflammatory and pain medication.
After a while, when the mobility of the arm improves, the exercises will become more complex, gradually increasing the load.
Pinching the ulnar nerve
Pinching of the ulnar nerve (cubital canal syndrome or compression of the ulnar nerve, ulnar syndrome) can lead to a decrease in sensitivity and to a complete loss of mobility of the arm.
The following symptoms are expressed:
- numbness and decreased limb mobility;
- change in muscle mass in the arm;
- pain syndrome.
Treatment of the cubital channel syndrome:
- adherence to a permanent regime (physiotherapy, reduction of physical activity, and so on);
- taking painkillers.
Elbow nerve tunnel syndrome is a specific abnormality that is manifested in neuralgic diseases. There is a pinching of the nerve in the area of the shoulder and forearm.
- pain syndrome;
Treatment of elbow carpal tunnel syndrome involves:
- restriction of motor activity;
- taking vitamins and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
The defeat of the ulnar nerve in the absence of proper treatment, can lead to a decrease in sensitivity, and subsequently cause complete numbness of the hand.
- therapeutic exercises and other exercises aimed at the development of the ulnar nerve;
- taking vitamins that help strengthen the nerve endings.