T Nation

How long will I be out?

I was diagonosed two weeks ago with Cubital Tunnel Syndrome in my left elbow. It is when the Ulnar nerve is inflamed and is being pinched between bones in the elbow. My doc, at HealthSouth (in practice with world famous Dr. Andrews) put me on Vioxx for the past two weeks to see if it would help. Not at all. The pain and numbness in my elbow, forearm, and my pinky and ring fingers has gotten worse. I go in for a nerve test on Tuesday and then will find out on Thursday whether or not I have to have surgery to “release” the nerve, as the doc put it. Has anyone else had a similar procedure done? How long will it be before I can train again?

want something cheaper and faster than surgury try matt furey’s carpal tunnel fix-not quite the same as cubital tunnel but it’s all connected and it works great.

Get ART before surgery!

Deadman, I agree wholeheartedly with litespeed and hardcopy, both. Look for non-invasive solutions before you resort to surgery. Surgery isn’t a guarantee that your problem will be corrected and you’ll live happily ever after. Sometimes the opposite occurs.

I had ART for my lateral epicondylits (Tennis Elbow). It had a strong nerve component (inflammation), along with some tendon damage. It was treated, and I saw great improvement. I supported the work that was done on me with stretching and strengthening exercises I was given. I also used some supplements that supported healing, too.

Whatever you do, I wish you all the best!!!

i would also suggest finding a good manual therapist who has studied material by david butler. butler does a lot of research with pain and the nervous system’s involvement. you may very well be able to “cure” your elbow without having surgery.

climbon

Deadman

In a worst case scenario they can’t fix it, don’t worry. You can still train as usual (almost).
I got my ulnar nerve cut quite a few years ago (got stabbed)!! The only difference is that I’m weaker and have to use straps when deadlifting. Had to use padded gloves for a while when doing pressing stuff because of the pain in the palm but that’s OK now.

I agree with the others, surgery should be the last resort.

Good luck, I know how you feel, it sux:-)

No doctor should even say the word “surgery” until he has checked your spine for a source of referred pain to the elbow.

I had this exact diagnosis, complete with nerve damage assessed by EMG, several years ago. And I recovered fully, 100%, WITHOUT ART and WITHOUT surgery. I researched the surgery and saw no good reason to risk it. I wrote about my experience in another thread, but the server is not responding so I can’t find the thread right now.

I would definately look at non-surgical alternatives before I let them cut…

We have a saying in my line of work “If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”

As trained as the docs may be, they are still limited to what they know and how they are used to approaching problems, and surgery may just be The Solution to your problem in their world.

You don’t say specifically what activity is causing your problem. I’ve had some problems with hand and wrist pain, tendonitis in the fingers and elbow, and lots of shoulder tension from working as a computer programmer. When it first started, I was thinking about going to a doctor, but I didn’t want to just go to a GP, I wanted to find someone who had a clue. But before I did that I started researching RSI and Carpal Tunnel type problems, and I ended up learning some streching, excercise and postural techniques that reversed and basically eliminated my problems.

If I were you I would start searching for information on techniques used to treat computer related RSI and carpal tunnel. If I could recommend one book, it would be “It’s Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! RSI Theory & Therapy for Computer Professionals” (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0965510999/qid=1085173415/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-3532412-1398266?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) I realize it doesn’t have “elbow” in the title, but the book has pretty comprehensive coverage of upper-body nerve problems, and treats them as whole body problems. Because of the way the nerves are routed, it’s very possible that pain felt in the wrist or elbow may really be a side effect of problems further up, like poor shoulder posture or tension in the upper body. In my case my finger pain went away when I started streching and massaging tension out of my forearms.

Look into stretching, massage, yoga, posture and ergonomic improvements! And keep in mind that solving this type of problem may require a long term commitment to actively making changes in whatever activity is causing the problems, and actively pampering the problem area to keep it healthy. That’s another reason the docs want to cut; Most people are too weak and lazy to commit to taking care of themselves and they want the quick fix. You’re stronger than that!

Nick