Ulnar nerve dysfunction

Alternative Names

Neuropathy – ulnar nerve; Ulnar nerve palsy

Definition of Ulnar nerve dysfunction

Ulnar nerve dysfunction is a problem with the ulnar nerve, which travels from the shoulder to the hand and allows movement or sensation in the wrist or hand.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Damage to one nerve group, such as the ulnar nerve, is called a mononeuropathy. Mononeuropathy means there is nerve damage to a single nerve. Both local and body-wide disorders may damage just one nerve.

Signs and tests

A careful history of when the problem started and what you might have been doing that could have injured the nerve is important.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to allow you to use the hand and arm as much as possible. The cause should be identified and treated. Sometimes, no treatment is needed and you will get better on your own.

Expectations (prognosis)

If the cause of the dysfunction can be found and successfully treated, there is a good chance of a full recovery. In some cases, there may be partial or complete loss of movement or sensation. Nerve pain may be severe and last for a long period of time.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/26/2010

Ulnar nerve damage

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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