The ulnar nerve lies close to the ulnar bone. This is the largest nerve which remains unprotected in the human body meaning it is not covered or protected with any muscle or bone. So the injury to this nerve is very common. This nerve is joined to the little finger and half of the adjacent ring finger.
The ulnar nerve supplies to the little finger and adjacent half of the ring finger which includes the tips and the nail beds of these fingers.
The origin of the ulnar nerve is from the C8-T1 nerve roots. The C8-T1 nerve roots consist of the brachial plexus, the medial part of it. This nerve enters the anterior part of the forearm through the flexor compartment and runs along the ulnar bone. The ulnar nerve then joins the ulnar artery.
In the forearm area it gives out 3 branches- the muscular, palmer and the dorsal branch of the ulnar nerve.
This nerve then travels downwards entering the palm of the hand. Here two branches of the ulnar nerve are given out which are the superficial and the deep branches of the ulnar nerve.
The ulnar nerve is one of the three main nerves which are present in the arm. This nerve is prone to injury as it remains unprotected by any bone or muscle. This nerve runs a long course from the shoulder area to the hand and is responsible in providing signals from the brain to the hand. It thus enables motions, co-ordination and sensation in that area. So any kind of injury to this nerve will affect these functions. When the ulnar nerve is damaged the symptoms of the nerve injury are felt in the little finger and the ring finger.
The most common cause for the ulnar nerve injury is trauma or compression other reasons for injury being any kind of illness or if this nerve is subjected to excess pressure. The compression of the ulnar nerve results from any kind of damage to the bone such as fracture in the elbow area or dislocation. This compression can also result from any kind of external pressure to which the nerve is subjected to or swelling of the soft tissues which may exert pressure on the ulnar nerve.
Symptoms of ulnar nerve injury:
-pricking sensation in the arm and the hand area
-tingling sensation while writing or typing
-a sense of weakness which may be felt in the arm, the hand and the fingers
The treatment for the ulnar nerve injury depends on the degree of severity of the injury to which the nerve is subjected to.
There can be two modes of treatment.
This mode of treatment is non-invasive.
-If the ulnar nerve injury is caused by any kind of external swelling then efforts are made to reduce this swelling by corticosteroid therapy.
-physiotherapy can improve the condition
-medication to relieve pain can be taken
This kind of treatment includes the following:
-correction of any kind of bone injury
-in some cases relocation of the ulnar nerve
-relieve pressure that is subjected to the ulnar nerve. It can be due to a cyst or any other factor.
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