An injury at work can have a big impact on your life and may even leave you unable to work. If you’ve recently experienced an injury while working for your Georgia employer, you might need a special surgery like a cubital tunnel release to resolve your injury and return to work. To truly understand if a cubital tunnel release surgery is the best option for your injury recovery, you’ll need to know what this procedure entails, how safe and effective it is, and how a cubital tunnel release fits into your lifestyle.
Some workplace injuries happen suddenly during a fall or accident on the job, while others develop slowly over time. Regardless of how your injury started, you’ll need to connect the dots between your employment history and your injury to get the benefits that you deserve. For this to happen, it’s essential to make sure that you work with your Georgia employer and their insurance company to ensure that your claim is handled properly.
Navigating the workers’ compensation world can be difficult, and you may face many roadblocks along the way. With the help of one of our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at Gearhart Law Group, we can assist you in overcoming these challenges to get you the representation that you need for your injury.
What Is A Cubital Tunnel Release?
Cubital tunnel release surgery is a procedure used to relieve pressure on the ulnar nerve in your elbow, which provides sensory and motor function to your wrist and hand. During the procedure, an orthopedic surgeon will cut through or “release” the fascia that covers the ulnar nerve and acts as a roof to the cubital tunnel. In some cases, bone may also be partially removed to prevent excess friction on the ulnar nerve. Ultimately, a cubital tunnel release relieves pressure on the ulnar nerve to reduce symptoms of pain, numbness, and tingling in the arm and hand.
The entire procedure is generally brief and often requires less than an hour to perform. Depending on if the ulnar nerve also needs to be moved from its original location during the procedure, more time may be needed. After surgery, you may be required to wear a sling or brace for some time to provide support, optimize healing, and protect your elbow from other injuries.
The total time for recovery after a cubital tunnel release surgery can vary significantly between each individual and depends on the underlying condition of your ulnar nerve going into surgery. It’s important to know that your overall health and your lifestyle after surgery can have a big impact on your recovery process. Generally a full recovery will take a few months, but with proper care and no surgical complications, you might be able to return to your normal activities sooner.
The immediate benefits of a cubital tunnel release include improved elbow, wrist and hand strength, decreased pain and numbness in the forearm and hand, and improved mobility in your arm. If your ulnar nerve injury was caused by work-related activity or repetitive motion, such as working with construction tools or repetitive lifting, a cubital tunnel release is likely to help you return to these activities safely.
What Is Cubital Tunnel Release Used For?
Cubital tunnel release surgery is often used to treat the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome, which is a condition that occurs when the ulnar nerve in your elbow becomes chronically compressed in the cubital tunnel, which causes pain and numbness in your arm and hand, most notably the 4th (ring) and 5th (pinky) fingers.
Although cubital tunnel syndrome is usually caused by repetitive elbow motions such as computer work or hammering, it can also occur due to chronic pressure from arm positioning (such as sleeping on your arm), or a direct trauma to the elbow. Understanding the cause of your cubital tunnel syndrome is important for getting the proper treatment and preventing future issues.
There are several different treatments available for managing cubital tunnel syndrome, however a cubital tunnel release is considered to be one of the best options for long-term outcomes. As with most surgeries, a cubital tunnel release is only recommended when more conservative options such as splinting, exercise, and medications are not appropriate or have been unsuccessful.
By having a cubital tunnel release performed, you can reduce pressure and irritation of your ulnar nerve and help alleviate pain, numbness, and weakness in your arm that is impacting your daily life. In most cases, as symptoms in your arm related to the ulnar nerve resolve, you can gradually make a return to your normal activities and vocation.
Is Cubital Tunnel Release Safe?
Generally speaking, a cubital tunnel release is considered to be a safe procedure with relatively few risks. However, as with any surgery, there are inherent risks that should always be taken seriously. Potential complications such as infection or nerve damage may occur, which may complicate or prevent healing after surgery. To ensure safety, your orthopedic surgeon will discuss the potential benefits and risks of the procedure with you prior to scheduling surgery. Additionally, they can provide advice on the best way to prepare for your surgery and recovery.
Common side effects after a cubital tunnel release surgery are temporary swelling, bruising, and pain in your elbow or arm. Generally these symptoms can be managed with rest, protecting your arm after surgery, and over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You may also experience some numbness or tingling in your forearm and hand following surgery, which is due to healing of the ulnar nerve. While this may seem concerning, this is normal for many people and should gradually improve over time.
It’s important to stay in close contact with your doctor during your recovery process and follow their instructions for post-operative care. This will help ensure a successful recovery and reduce the risk of complications or re-injury. Overall, a cubital tunnel release is a routine option for treating cubital tunnel syndrome when more conservative measures have been unsuccessful. With proper pre-operative planning and post-operative care, you can help ensure the best recovery possible.
Will I Need Other Treatments?
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may need additional treatments to get the best outcomes after a cubital tunnel release surgery. In many cases your doctor will recommend physical therapy or occupational therapy. Physical therapy sessions can help restore strength and range of movement in your elbow and arm, while occupational therapy can help you regain fine motor skills such as typing or writing that may have been affected by your injury.
Additionally, you may need to make lifestyle changes such as avoiding activities that put too much pressure on your elbow or changing your sleeping position. Your doctor can review any other treatments that you may benefit from and help create an individualized treatment plan for your condition. With proper medical care and a well-designed treatment plan that fits your unique situation, you can get back to your normal activities and return to work faster.
Your medical needs may vary after a workplace injury, but the need for expert legal representation is absolute.
Contact an Atlanta Injury Attorney
Our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at Gearhart Law Group represent victims of work-related injuries and help them get the workers’ compensation benefits that they deserve. Our lawyers understand how your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance companies will try to save money by denying or underpaying your claim. We know how to fight any objections they may have and pursue all the Georgia workers’ compensation benefits that you need. Call us now so we can evaluate your specific case and advise you of your next legal steps as well as ensuring that you are receiving the best medical care for your injuries.