Corticosteroid Injections for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

by / Monday, 27 May 2019 / Published in Blog, Elbow Surgery, Stem Cell Therapy

Cubital tunnel syndrome is like carpal tunnel syndrome for the elbow. It is an irritating condition that limits the mobility in your elbow and can cause chronic nerve pain in some patients. Corticosteroid injections have been proven to reduce inflammation in joints with arthritis. They can reduce your pain from cubital tunnel syndrome by relieving the pressure that inflammation from arthritis is putting on the nerves in your elbow. If traditional pain management methods and bracing is not reducing your pain, ask your doctor about corticosteroid injections.

 

What Are Steroid Injections?

 

Corticosteroids mimic the effects of the body’s natural hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands. It is most commonly known as the stress hormone. Cortisol affects many parts of the body, including the immune system. It helps to lower levels of prostaglandins and reduces the interaction between certain white blood cells involved in our immune responses. Corticosteroids stimulate this effect to control inflammation in the body. Corticosteroid injections may help relieve pain by reducing inflammation in injured areas. They’re most commonly injected into joints like the ankles, wrists, elbows, hips, and knees. Even the small joints in your hands and feet might benefit from cortisone shots if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. The injections are generally made up of a corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic to numb the area. Often, you can receive a corticosteroid shot at your doctor’s office but check with them before making an appointment. Because of the potential side effects of steroids, the number of shots you can receive in one year generally is limited.

Cubital tunnel syndrome may happen when a person bends the elbows often during their job

What Is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

 

Cubital tunnel syndrome happens when the ulnar nerve, which passes through the cubital tunnel on the inside of the elbow, is injured and becomes inflamed, swollen, and irritated. Cubital tunnel syndrome causes pain that feels a lot like the pain you feel when you hit the “funny bone” in your elbow. The “funny bone” in the elbow is actually the ulnar nerve, a nerve that crosses the elbow. The ulnar nerve starts in the side of your neck and ends in your fingers, making it one of the longest nerves in your body. Cubital tunnel syndrome may happen when a person bends the elbows often during their job, leans on their elbow a lot, or has an injury or had surgery to the area. Arthritis, bone spurs, and previous fractures or dislocations of the elbow can also be a major factor in developing cubital tunnel syndrome. However, in most cases, the cause is not known.

 

How Can Steroid Injections Help With Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

 

Cubital tunnel syndrome has many similarities with the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome of the hands. Corticosteroids have been studied extensively and used as a treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. These injections can reduce inflammation and bring back range of motion to your elbow. They can also reduce the pressure on your ulnar nerve from arthritis, relieving the chronic pain felt in your elbow.

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