Dr. Vanessa Gabrovsky Cuéllar is a leading and experienced Beverly Hills hand and wrist surgeon with specialized training in microsurgery and peripheral nerve surgery. She is dedicated to providing comprehensive and compassionate orthopedic care to her patients of all ages. In addition, as an integral component to her orthopedic care, Dr. Cuéllar offers integrative holistic medical approaches to promote whole body health and well-being. At our office, your comfort, health, and personal path to wellness are our number one priorities. Essential to these priorities is our mission to educate our patients as to their diagnosis and treatment options. Experience has proven that the more you know and proactive you are, the better equipped you are to make wise decisions about your health care. Our patients expect and receive the finest personalized Beverly Hills hand therapy each and every time they see us.
Cubital tunnel syndrome, or ulnar nerve entrapment, occurs when the ulnar nerve in the arm becomes compressed or irritated. The ulnar nerve is one of the three main nerves in your arm. It travels from your neck down into ring and pinky fingers, and can be constricted in several places along the way, such as beneath the collarbone or at the wrist. The most common place for compression of the nerve is behind the inside part of the elbow. Numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers are common symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome. In most cases, symptoms can be managed with conservative Beverly Hills hand therapy treatments like changes in activities and bracing. If conservative methods do not improve your symptoms, or if the nerve compression is causing muscle weakness or damage in your hand, your doctor may recommend hand surgery. There are a few causes of this ulnar nerve problem which include direct pressure on the nerve, keeping the elbow bent for a long time can stretch the nerve behind the elbow, or structural causes. Sometimes the ulnar nerve does not stay in its place and snaps back and forth over a bony bump as the elbow is moved. Repeated snapping can irritate the nerve. Sometimes, the soft tissues over the nerve become thicker or there is an extra muscle over the nerve that can keep it from working correctly.
The first treatment is to avoid actions that cause symptoms. Wrapping a pillow or towel loosely around the elbow or wearing a splint at night to keep the elbow from bending can help. Avoiding leaning on the “funny bone” can also help. A hand therapist can help you find ways to avoid pressure on the nerve. Sometimes, surgery may be needed to relieve the pressure on the nerve. This can involve releasing the nerve, moving the nerve to the front of the elbow, and/or removing a part of the bone. Dr. Cuellar will talk to you about your options. Beverly Hills hand therapy is sometimes needed after surgery, and the time it takes to recover can vary. Numbness and tingling may improve quickly or slowly. It may take many months for recovery after surgery. Cubital tunnel symptoms may not totally go away after surgery, especially if symptoms are severe.