What are the symptoms of ulnar nerve injury?

Symptoms of an ulnar nerve injury include pain, numbness, and loss of muscle strength and coordination in the arm and hand. Symptoms most commonly affect the little finger and the ring finger.

Common symptoms of ulnar nerve injury

You may experience ulnar nerve injury symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times, any of these ulnar nerve injury symptoms can be severe:

  • Burning feeling in hand, arm or finger
  • Increased arm numbness or tingling while typing or writing
  • Increased finger numbness or tingling while typing or writing
  • “Pins and needles” sensation (prickling) in the hand, arm or fingers
  • Tingling or other unusual sensations in the hands
  • Weakness (loss of strength) in the hand, arm or fingers

Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

In some cases, ulnar nerve symptoms can be a serious condition that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these serious symptoms including:

  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
  • Change in mental status or sudden behavior change, such as confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations and delusions
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Garbled or slurred speech or inability to speak
  • Paralysis or inability to move a body part
  • Sudden change in vision, loss of vision, or eye pain

What is ulnar nerve injury?

An ulnar nerve injury is an injury that damages the ulnar nerve, one of the three main nerves in the forearm. The ulnar nerve runs from the shoulder to the hand and is responsible for carrying signals between the hand and the brain, enabling motion and feeling in the hand and forearm. An injury to the ulnar nerve can damage this communication and thus limit motion and feeling in the hand a... Read more about ulnar nerve injuryintroduction


What causes ulnar nerve injury?

There are many causes of ulnar nerve injuries, including pressure, trauma and illness. In some cases, ulnar nerve injuries may arise without a known cause.

The most common cause of ulnar nerve injury is extended pressure on the ulnar nerve, known as ulnar nerve entrapment. As the ulnar nerve travels from the shoulder to the hand, it passes through two tunnels of tissue, the cubita... Read more about ulnar nerve injurycauses


How is ulnar nerve injury treated?

Treatment for ulnar nerve injury begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine whether you have an ulnar nerve injury, your health care provider will likely perform a physical examination.

The goal of treatment for ulnar nerve injury is to manage or relieve symptoms and correct the underlying cause when possible. Treatment of ulnar nerve injury vari... Read more about ulnar nerve injurytreatments

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 11, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Brain and Nerves