Ulnar Nerve Transposition Surgery

On 3/17/08 I had surgery to correct a pinched nerve in my elbow. The pinched nerve was causing the pinky and ring fingers to be numb and tingle, also serve arm aching. Hopefully this surgery will correct the issue, however the pain right now is horrible. The nerve was relocated to forearm under the muscle. Here are some pictures of my arm taken 4 days after surgery.

picture 2
Picture of the incision.

picture 1


12/15/2011 – Update #4 – http://moxiefoxtrot.com/2011/12/15/ulnar-nerve-transposition-surgery-update-4/



  1. Billy says

    Hope your feeling better and healed up by now. Wish you a good outcome with your surgery.

    Ubuntu rules!

  2. says

    Ouch. I’ve had surgery involving nerves in my arm/hand myself, not fun. Hope everything goes well.

    Love the Ubuntu Forums, btw. Interesting new theme with the upgrade. Hope it’s a smooth transition :)

  3. says

    Hey Ubuntu Geek, hehe, that arm looks pretty raw,,I just added a prayer for you so as to heal quickly, bless your heart it looks rough, hang tight..it will heal, I sure dont want to see you in pain…see you back in the join the discussion forum and the ubuntu forums..

    AKA delilahjed

  4. says

    I just had my nerve transportation done 12 days ago,it seems like its going alright I just got my stitches out,its feeling better,but still sore and some hurt.color is already leaving.

  5. reka says

    What did you wear to the surgery? Could you get your arm/dressing through a tshirt sleeve afterwards?

  6. says

    To reka: Yes, they gave me a tight fitting sock like material to cover the arm where the incision was. I still wear it at night.

    To: Roger reed, Glad to hear its still coming along and its feeling better. I am still having some pain and numbness in the hand and elbow, my doctor said the nerve was so damaged I will see improvement for 2-5 years.

    To Sherri: Thanks!

  7. ALLEN says


  8. donnie says

    i just had the same surgery on tues. and mine is swollen but not that bad or bruised. i have a half cast from my fingers to my shoulder. it still hurts though. no numbness any more. i didnt have stitches they glued me instead my cut is longer though. good luck i know what your going through.

  9. Marietta Lancaster says

    I had a severe head injury in my neck on 11-28-06 which caused me so far 2 1/2 years of trauma; injury triggered carpal tunnel syndrome and now I’m having pain in my Ulnar nerve which the doctor is trying to tell me will go away on its own. The question to you is what was your cost for ulnar surgery? this is a workmans comp case and they are dodging the answer to me questions. I’m already having muscle discomfort in both hands. I have no insurance and have spent all my cash on other medical expenses.

    thank you for a reply.

    by the way ‘a speedy recovery to you’

  10. LM says

    I too had the ulnar nerve transposition surgery on 3-17-08 and am still experiencing a great deal of pain around the incision site as well as the outside of the elbow.

    I’ve been to physical therapy quite a bit, and while my range of motion has improved, the pain is still quite bad.

    Has anyone had similar experiences?


  11. Chris says

    I had a left ulnar subcutaneous transposition on 11/15/06 and on the right just two weeks ago (5/9/08).

    Remember, recovery can go VERY VERY VERY SLOWLY, and you may not get complete resolution of your symptoms. Still, as time goes by, you’ll really start noticing things healing up. It’s better to track your progress month by month rather than by weeks. I still have mild nerve pain on the left. The right nerve was less damaged and seems to be healing much faster. Be patient with yourself and your body. Get a handle on the achy pain. I had the best relief from TENS.

    I would not wish this on anyone! I hope your recovery goes fast and easy.

    Anyone who has questions about this, feel free to email me: chrsrol7@aol.com

  12. Jim says

    Had Ulnar Nerve Transposition Surgery Monday June 2nd, 2008. Today on the 9th of June, I had my first PT which was basically replacing the large splint-bandage with just a splint. Almost no pain after the first couple of days.

    Arm looks almost exactly like your pictures today. My understanding is that I will be wearing a splint for 4-6 weeks except during PT. I had moderate-severe on the electro tests. Main complaints was hands goto to sleep at night (folded over my chest), some loss of strength and very touchy elbow.

    Am not supposed to move my arm except under th guidance of PT for now.

  13. Yolanda says

    I had ulnar transposition surgery on both arms. 11/5/07 and 3/24/08 and I still experience pain, weakness, spasms, stiffness and numbness. It all depends on how soon they got to the problem too, most likely I will not gain full use of my 4th ang 5th fingers and will always have weakness in my arms but I continue to go to PT and do my own exercise at home.

  14. Jim says

    It’s been 18 days since my ulnar nerve transposition (under the muscle) along with carpal tunnel surgery on same arm. Therapist has just now allowed me to start simple no load bending exercises.

    So far almost no pain except some tenderness in the elbow. Still have to wear the full arm splint full time for another 3 weeks except when doing the exercises. I ice my elbow down about 3 times a day as well.

    Some minor swelling still at the elbow.

    Passed all the feeling prong tests in my fingers along with the tiny fishing wire type test. Actually better than in the other hand.

    So far, so good I guess.

  15. naomi says

    i had ulnar surgery at the elbow 11-6-06 and my arm shoulder,neck, and hand still hurts like every thing i wish that they had of just cut the whole arm off than to go through with what i do does any one know what may be wroug with it HELP HELP

  16. ryan says

    i had surgery on my ulnar nerve and it still pops, its a fun conversation starter though and if i dont like a girl its an easy way to get her away haha,i hated it after i got it done cuz i was in a full cast from my bicepto my hand and it was summer, too hot

  17. Karen says

    It’s my turn. Tomorrow (July 10, 2008) I will have my left elbow operated on because the ulnar nerve is compressed. Good to know I can wear one of my oversized polo shirts there. Been wondering what the heck to wear. Good luck to all & I’ll check back in later.

  18. Jay says

    I had my ulnar nerve transposition on 5/23/08. I still have swelling on the elbow area. I notice some of you ice your elbow 3 times a day. Is that helping you? I only ice mine on occasions but it seems like it is taking forever for the swelling to go down.

  19. Cynthia says

    Still coming back from my 2/28/08 ulna nerve surgery.
    I had a dynamite occupational therapist that got me my full range of motion back in 6 weeks. The nerve was settling down quite well until I whacked the forearm
    on the nerve side. Lyrica worked great for the pain but my insurance wouldn’t cover it. I am trying to wean myself off using any medication (grabapentin). This is slow sledding.

  20. Sherry says

    I just had the surgrey tuesday 7-15-08. My arn looks like the picture above. How long does it take for that to heal? I ice my all day and nothing helps. my looks infected its draining. I called the doctor and they are going to look at it Monday. It really looks Nasty and hurts like crap. The 7.5 don’t work for me. HELP

  21. Susanne says

    I had submuscular surgery 7/15/08 along with carpal tunnel all on right arm. Oh yeah I also had arthoscopic surgery on that elbow at the same time. I had a lot of stitches and in a soft cast for 2 weeks. No bruising but some swelling. I was so freaked out about having 3 procedures I was crying all the way to the operating room. I will say I worried needlessly because things have gone very well. Now doing occupational therapy and things are going well. All in all I would do it again if I had to.


  22. says


    I’m going on 3 years since my ulnar transposition on my left arm and things are going well. Occasionally I feel a burning sensation at the scar after taking a shower…but that’s it!

    Ubuntu-geek: I see you are coming up on the 6 month mark on your recovery. I hope you are healing well.

    Take care,


  23. louise says

    i am scheduled for 8/18 for severe ulner nerve in elbow. really having 2nd thoughts and wonder if anyone thought of accupunture? my niece was helped for a different elbow problem and claims i should try it

  24. Betty says

    I had neck surgery Feb 2008 and the result is Ulner nerve damage in elbow area so i am having surgery aug 20. I have swelling in my fingers(ring and small finger) I hope i can use the hand again after the surgery and therpy.

  25. Betty says

    I had neck surgery Feb 2008 and the result is Ulner nerve damage in elbow area so i am having surgery aug 20. I have swelling in my fingers(ring and small finger) I hope i can use the hand again after the surgery and therpy.

  26. james says

    i just had the same surgery on wensday 8-6-08..it is now sunday 8-10-08
    the pain is so bad,i have not been able to sleep more than 2 hours at a time,then i wake up in severe pain.also i cant eat cuz all the pain medicine,wich by the way does not help at all[oxycontin,percocet,valiun].the nerve keeps going into spasms,and all i can do is cry the pain is so bad,i went to the doctor on friday he re wrapped my arm but that did not help,i was in the e.r. last night.all they did was check for infection and rewrapped it again..the pain is unbearable,i passed out once from the pain.i have to sleep in a recliner so now my whole body hurts also..the doctor lied,said it wouldnt hurt that bad,and that id be back at work on monday,now i dont no when i will go back.when i called the doctor again he said there is nothing he can do for me.i wish i never had it done,this is more painful then jaw surgery i had and they completly reconstucted my jaw,chin, cheek bones. DO NOT HAVE THIS SURGERY!!I CAN’T HANDLE THE PAIN ANYMORE.

  27. james says

    also if anyone can answer some questions about whats normal and whats not,when it comes to pain and swelling,please email me,cuz my doctor doesnt seem to care. jamiller75@hotmail.com i have two boys ages 11 and 12,and i am all they have,now i cant even make them dinner or do laundry or anything,even if i was allowed to move arm i cant,it is worst then before the surgery.plus i have a splint from my shoulder to my wrist.is it normal to be this painful.everyday the pain gets worse.the pills dont help with the pain and it feels like someone is ripping the nerve out of my arm..i dont think i can handle the pain anymore.please help,..

  28. Graham says

    Hi all, I had ulna nerve relocation surgery around 28 years ago.
    When I say relocation surgery, the Doctor removed the nerve from the outside of the elbow to the inside of the elbow.
    First and foremost he was a Neuro Surgeon, NOT a GP or Orthopedic Surgeon.
    He used to say “only ever let a Neuro Surgeon touch your nerves, as they are an extension of the brain”, he also said never let an Orthopedic Surgeon touch your nerves as their technique is to “rough”.
    I was operated on a Thursday afternoon and was released from hospital on Saturday morning. On the Friday morning I had complete power back in my hands, on Saturday morning I squeezed his hand so hard I hurt him.
    I had NO pain to speak of, only the fact I had been cut open, I had no swelling or bruising of the elbow, I only had the minimum of light bandage on my arm when I went home. I was back at work on Monday.
    There is a lot more to this story of how and why I had the surgery, but what I will say is it was worth it and in the last 28 years I have had no problems at all.
    1 month after having the right elbow done I had the left one done as well.
    Over the last couple of years I was beginning to think it may have been experimental surgery he had done on me as I could not find anyone who had this type of surgery.
    In 2005 I was in hospital and asked about it, no one knew what I was talking about.
    I am in Australia.

  29. cindy says

    my gawd that looks bad and painful now i am turned off considering i am on the waiting list for the same operation.i am in australia.

  30. james says

    8-14-08…hi this is james,checking back.i have read all the success stories of this surgery.again i had mine done on 8-06-08.so about 8 or 9 days ago,the pain is still unbearable,except this morning.i woke up and didnt feel any pain at all,cuz my arm and hand is completely numb now,it has been this way all day untill about an hour ago,then the pain came back full force,it was nice to have a half a day without pain,but this really worries me,my doctor a orthopedic surgeon did it.wich i hear now i should of had a nuero surgeon do it.does not seem to care,says im just complaining.still will not give me a work release so ive been off work for 9 days now.and as i said earlier i have two boys so its just me and my two boys.but now i am worried about when bills come do cuz like most of america we live payday to payday,i thought i would be right back at work in a couple of days cuz thats what they told me.i still take the oxycontin and percocet. and valium for the spasms.i am afraid i have been taking them to long,but the doctor says to keep taking it.now i feel sick if i dont take them,so im afraid my body is getting addicted to them.i will see him tommorow at 10;30 and i will not be pleasant,i paid good money to have this done and im afraid he hurt my arm bad.i will get the staples out tommorow but the splint will go back on.this is not what i was told before the surgery.so does anyone know if this will get better or will i need more surgerys,cuz i can not go through this again.
    god i wish i never had it done.

  31. james says

    in case i didnt explain it,they did a ulnar nerve transposition,cuz they said i had ulnar nerve entrapment.the nerve was sticking out over my elbow,they moved it under my elbow and grafted tissue over it to hold it there.they say thats y my arm has to stay in splint so i dont bend it and rip the tissue he said.i did see the incision and staples when they changed the bandage.and it seems to be a bigger incision then all the pictures i see on the web.y is this?i am going to attempt to take a bath now if i dont kill myself trying to.since i cant seem to cover my arm to take a shower.so this will be fun.i will check back tommorow after my appointment

  32. james says

    checking back,went to my appointment,they took staples out start physical therapy on monday,4 times a week.this seems a bit much but thats what they told me.still in alot of pain,asked doc if this is normal,he said everyone is different.still have to wear splint,next appointment is in two weeks.so i cant seem to get a work realease,he gave me one saying arm is to stay in splint at 45 degree angle,right arm work only.my work said this is not good enough.so this could be my last entry.because since i cant work. my bills will not get paid and my internet is one of those bills.so glad alot of peoples surgerys turned out good i wish mine did.one good thing the depression is taking over the pain.well i dont no if thats good.they kept me on oxycontin and valium,wich is good cuz now i get sick without it.the money is gone no more checks coming in,and still have to take whore baths.lol!!so who knows what will happen from here,but i cant do this anymore,the pain,no work,no showers,cant cook my kids dinner,my house has fallen to pieces,wich is o.k. cuz we will lose it anyway now.so before anyone has this surgery be prepared money wise and pain wise.cuz dont believe what the doctor tells you,cuz i was suppose to be back at work 7 days ago.so goodluck to all.i am sinking into a world of depression now.

  33. james says

    hi its james again.well like i said mine was done on august 6th.well i woke up this morning and the pain was finally gone.my hand isnt swollen anymore and i went back to work.today is august 20th,so it was two weeks of horrible pain.physical therapy is going good,but i do most of it at home.my appointments only last about 15 minutes at the physical therapist.i can feel my hand again and no numbness.although i do still have spasms occasionally,but not to bad the valium helps but i stopped all pain pills.just the valium now.i know one thing i will never have this done again.it was the most pain i have ever felt.plus i missed two weeks of work.the splint is still on and is a nusaince but thats o.k. cuz im just happy the pain is gone..see the doctor on the 29th hope he takes off splint.so thanks to everyone listening to me bitch and cry..and i know i did. but the pain was horrible.hope no one else has as much pain.and i will check back to see how everyone elses surgery went. good luck on thursday nick.

  34. Anonymous says

    im Dwight from the Philippines ive seen your comment about having trouble with your surgery i have my surgery on 8-15-08 fortunately mine is not as painful as you’ve been through!though its not that worst im having trouble to move or close my fingers!is it the same with your situation?coz im worried i might not work on Monday!the doctor told that ill be off work for one week only!im worried i cant stiil move my fingers freely by Monday!

  35. SAM says

    Hello –

    I’m having the procedure on the 26th. Trust your physician more than anything! Mine is an excellent board certified Orthopedic Surgeon who also did a laparoscopy on my rotator cuffof the same arm last August (car accident). Everyone’s body is different & will respond differently to the procedure. Also, viewing all these scary pics doesn’t help our psyche! Breathe easy and trust that the body will heal itself. Be patient and diligent with your recovery process.

    In health :)

  36. james says


    yes i did have trouble moving my fingers,then when i did it was like i could feel the nerve pulling in my arm,i assume stertching out again.but once the swelling went away,it was easier to move.i still have problems holding on to things,and somtimes numbness and tingling,but the doc says thats normal.when i went back to work it was with a doctors release saying one handed work only,till further notice.i assume that means at my next appointment.at least i hope so.they still dont want me to straighten my arm,and is still in a splint.i am glad yours was not painful, i think sam is right and everyone is different.or maybe you guys have a better surgeon.lol!!!.but good luck to you
    and goodluck to you also sam. i did not have bad bruising like in all the pictures ive seen,just the pain.but things r coming along now,and im sure it will get better with the physical therapy,i guess it cant get worse,cuz i had the surgery because of the pain,from the entrapped nerve,and now the pain from the surgery is gone,i dont feel all the pain i experienced before the surgery.i still do have spasms in my arm,but they dont hurt as bad now.i am back at work now,but like i said one handed work,so i cant do as much.but my job is working with me,wich is good of them,because nebraska is a will to work state,and they can fire you for no reason at all.so i am glad they have worked with me through all of this.and im sure once i am completely healed,i will be able to work better than before,because as i said i had the surgery because of the pain and fear of damaging my nerve more.so best of luck to all.

  37. Kath says

    Had submuscular ulnar nerve transposition on right arm a week ago. Am having left arm done next week (2 weeks apart). Was told it was 3 month recovery for each arm before returning to work. As am left unpaid hope recovery is quick and successful. Don’t mind putting up with pain if it fixes problem. Have to have both surgeries near one another to avoid length of time off work. Hope I can manage as I live alone and have to do things for myself.

  38. Kellie says

    Wow, I wish yo the best in your recovery. I had ulnar nerve surgery on 03/28/08. It was hell. I had the same symptoms as you described. Its now 08/25/08 and I still am not recovered from the surgery. I had been going to the doctor since the surgery every 4 weeks and he kept telling me the same thing, the numbness and tingling will go away. It may take 6 months to a year, the nerve was traumatized. Luckily my insurance changed at worked. I went to another doctor and he says the surgery was done incorrectly because the nerve was not put under the muscle. He can tell this by the length of the scar (only 2 inches) and the operative report doesn’t state anything about placing it under the muscle. I got a third opinion and he says the same thing. So now, lucky me, I get that have the surgery done over again.

  39. james says

    well just when i thought things were going good,my bad luck kicked in again.last night i was taking the steri strips off because the doctor said my cut was healed and i could start taking them off while i was in the shower.well the cut split wide open.and it hurt real bad.so they put more strips on it and told me to stop physical therapy for now and see him again in two weeks.on top of that i was having severe stomach problems,they did a cat scan.turned out all the different pain medicines messed up my stomach.they said it is like my stomach fell asleep or sumtin.im not sure what that means.so i had to stop all pain medicines the doctor said.so i didnt make it to work today,and the ambulance had to get me last night cuz the stomach thing.so long story short,i got fired,they said nebraska is a will to work state,whatever that means.and that i missed to many days,even though they had doctor notes saying i could not go.they said it doesnt matter.so thats it for me.no job,messed up arm.dont know what to do now.this will be my last entry.there is no god and if there is he hates me.i have two kids how could they do this to me.i have to move now by the end of september.no where to go,money is gone,medical bills are stacking up,and my health is getting worse.lost 11 pounds since the surgery.and have to wait for arm to heal,wich it wont.i only got a doctors note that says on handed work only.so im sure noone will hire me now.things were great before the surgery.now i have nothing,all because of a stupid operation.I HATE NEBRASKA!!!so good bye to all.thats it for me. and im still in pain,and still cant move my arm…

  40. says

    Well, coming up on a month. Lightning, and creepy crawly sensations are making me out of my mind. I am down to 7 minutes instead of 20 to put my bra on. Little or no gripping strength in my hand. College Football season started last Saturday….MAN I need to work on my grip. Hard to watch football with out a beer in one hand and a hand full of nachos in the other!!;) Please visit my myspace for weekly pics I have taken of my insicion. Does not look nearly as wicked as the gentleman that started this blog. http://www.myspace.com/sharklover32

  41. Mike says

    I had submuscular ulnar nerve transposition on June 10th by an orthopaedic surgeon. I am 26 and a guitar player and had constant pain and soreness at my ulnar nerve, and random tingling, weakness and hand shaking after playing guitar. I basically had to stop playing. I had to cut down my hours severely at my other job as well because it was too painful. I had the submuscular surgery because they said my arm was too skinny to put the nerve anywhere else. Unfortunately that’s the one with the longest recovery time. I am now almost 3 months out of surgery and I can play again and it feels SOOO much better. The only thing that sucks is that my full range isn’t back yet, and I’m working hard for that.

    This type of surgery makes you’re elbow really tight and takes a while to get back to normal they said. The first estimation by the surgeon was about 6-9 months to get back to being completely normal. But as for pain out of the surgery it was very minimal along with the percocets they gave me. But I had a giant splint i couldn’t get wet for about 4 weeks, then went to the plastic removable one. But my PT person said that I am coming along faster than most people she’s ever seen who have had this surgery.

    They also said they found some random muscle tissue that had grown around the nerve, possibly causing the irritation. It seems to make sense because they said it was rare to see this condition in someone so young. I went through a very unhealthy time in my life and these problems happened during it, so I believe that this “random” muscle tissue developed during that period because my symptoms just seemed to happen all at once.

    I have this same surgery scheduled for my right arm in late october and I’m wondering if that is the case in my right as well. But overall it has been a success and with a lot of hard work I think I’m going to be just fine and get back on my way to being a professional musician.

    The only other thing is that my pinky has a partial numbess to it, but it doesn’t effect my playing or strength at all so I can live with that : ) But I figured I’d share my story here because as I see it, so far it has been a success and hopefully my right arm (which isn’t quite as bad as my left was) will be undergoing the same procedure soon with similar results. But I am quite confident that with my progress so far, I will only get better.

    My only suggestion for anyone getting this surgery is to lead as healthy a lifestyle as possible leading up to surgery. I quit smoking and drinking, and starting eating much better and drank tons of herbal tea, and made sure I exercised regularly to prepare for surgery. I even meditated post surgery telling my body to heal itself. Guitar is my life, and I basically wanted to end it when I wasn’t able to play. It was without a doubt the worst period of my life and I was so afraid that everything I had worked for, for so long was flushed down the toilet by these damn nerve problems. So it was too important for me not to take this surgery and the recovery VERY seriously and it has paid off so far. I hope that anyone else suffering with this horrible condition achieves similar results. Good luck!

  42. Kellie says

    Well, I went to see the new doctor last Friday. He says surgery is a must if I want to be able to have any use of my right hand in the future. The muscles in my hand are deteriorating (sp) and I have now developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, which means my pain sensors are not turning off. This is the reason that I am in constant pain. He says that he believes the ulnar nerve has a “kink” in it and needs to be corrected. He also believes that the nerve was not put under the muscle during the first surgery. So, surgery is scheduled for this Thursday. I’m a bit scared to go through all of the pain again, but this doc says that the pain shouldn’t be as bad as the pain I had experienced before. Wish me luck and please keep me in your prayers.

  43. Hilda says

    Well to everyone out there that recently had CTS or Ulnar Nerve pain in your elbow. LISTEN & GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU
    I had surgery back in 9/2003 I develop CTS @ work, I got fired etc. I disputed my case for 3 years until workers comp. insurance agree to pay my surgery. My injury and pain got to the point that I couldn’t eat, brush my hair or anything. It was a 24/7 pain and lots of crying. Finally got my surgery and like many of you say IT IS painful and some of you will get depress. I has been almost 5 years since the surgery and the pain is coming back but worse than before. I dont have any insurance and I close my case with no future medical coverage with the workers comp. So everyone out there, you might think that everything is all good now, but in a few years you will get again and worse. my best wishes to all of you.

  44. Kath says


    Just because yours came back again does not mean the same will happen to everybody. Everyone is different and it is dependent on changes to lifestyle, what someone is doing.

    To anyone else out there who may be able to help. Had right arm done 5 weeks ago and left one 2 weeks ago. Left arm okay but right one keeps playing up, randomly cannot get comfortable, losing feeling, swelling, pain etc. Given this arm was done first would expect it to be better than left. Am I to assume right arm surgery did not work?

  45. Sherry says

    Well just an update. Had the surgrey july 15th been 2 months now and the little finger and ring finger are still NUMB………. doctor has no idea why they are still that way. Now he wants to wait another 30 days and do another NERVE TEST……… he did a MRI of the neck and that came back ok. I feel I have not got any results yet I never will. I’m like the other guy its starting to work on my real neveres not being able to use but one hand.

    Any suggestions from anyone I would love to hear them

  46. worsethanbefore says

    I had a subcutaneous ulnar nerve transposition back in mid-June ’08 and its been 3 months post op, I have finished my PT, and have recovered full range of motion, although the intinsic muscle loss I suffered in my hand still exists. I continue squeezing stress balls, and doing finger push ups. I also continue to work on strengthening the arm through free weights, and isometrics, if for nothing else to promote circulation to the nerve, especially considering my surgery was subcutaneous (under the skin) and not sub-muscular (within the muscle and engorged with blood supply). I understand that the rehabilitation can be slow moving, but to be honest, Im at the point right now where Im not sure If I will ever be able to regain the muscles that have wasted away in my hand, and morover recover that fine motor skill, and gross strength within my grip. Its not for a lack of trying.
    I had severe nerve compression, the odds of recovery were like 85%, Im just not sure I fall in that success group, not yet anyway. In fact, before the surgery, I had the same numbness, the same feeling in my hand, yet I did not have any issues with the elbow, now after surgery… I am left with a 6-7 inch scar that is uber sensitive, hot and cold flashes through out the arm, random shooting like pains, discoloration (slight), and mishapen at the joint (slight). Bottom line, at this time in my recovery, 3 months post op, I feel worse than I did pre surgery, go figure.

    I hope I am just being impatient.

  47. chris w says

    hi all ive just read your comments! ive got nerve damage & joint damage osteo-arthritis in left elbow due to trauma to joint years ago heavy lifting in work. one nerve only 50% now n cannot straighten left elbow. if had operation to relocate nerve would not improve joint mobility n possibly make problem worse but if i leave it will lose feeling in most of fingers /hand ! thank you for sharing your experiences good n bad. i have heard manipulation by a chiropractor to the joint n surrounding areas has worked in some cases so i think i will try that before surgery ! thinking of you all that are in same position as me for people awaiting surgery good luck hope all goes well n speedy recovery n freedom from pain to those that have had surgery god bless chris w liverpool england

  48. Kath says

    It is good to see others are having delayed recovery, not so much good for them, but it makes me feel a bit more reassured, although I have not been referred for PT. I was of belief PT was necessary for recovery. I have had both elbows done submuscular and feel it is a very slow process and don’t know what I should and shouldn’t be doing. Also don’t know succes rate.

  49. cindy says

    my gawd is that what i am going to go through.seeing this has got me running for the hills now lol.please get back to me with recovery options advice is needed.i aint looking forward to my operation on oct 29th 2008.

  50. Sherry says

    Good luck Cindy. I hope it works for you. my looked like the guys above in the Picture. I’M 2 MONTHS OUT AND I FEEL WORSE THAN i DID BEFORE THE SURGREY.



  51. Kath says

    To all who are going to have this operation – don’t compare yourselves with others, no one person is the same or will have the same result. As i had both arms done, even both arms are reacting and recovering differently. Also, despite most warning about the amount of pain, I was really worried because I am allergic to codeine, morphine, pethidine etc, but as it turns out i have not even had to take panadol. Each surgery for each person is different. Also there are different variations to how the surgery is performed, depending on the surgeon. Good luck.

  52. Rene says

    I havve had ulna nerve release and consequent to that I had a Ulna Nerve Transposition. My elbow is extremely sensitive at the back and I have constan pain in ar, and neck. My arm also snaps when I straighten it which in turn gives me numb feeling in fingers again. I should have never had any of the ops. Anybody else experiencing snapping/popping of the elbo when straigtening?

  53. says

    I am currently in the waiting process wrk comp denied meso i hired a attorney. They will likely reopen my case as it is a on the job inhury but neither here nor there i am dealing with intitially rt pinky and ring finger numbness which is constant. Pain in the forearm leading to elbow sometimes up through upper arm and always pain on neck. The orthopedic gave a cortizone shot which after three days left my left pinky and ring finger numb as well. injury was august 20th and now it is october 7th and still waiting on treatment . if i go onmy own it comes out of my pocket. So i live in pain and now because of over compensating because of loss in those areas i believe my carpal tunnel nerve is goin bad as well because now other things are happeneing with the other digits and wrists. It takes so freakin long to even do my bra lol and let me tell you goin to the bthrm is a chore in itself. I drop everything. It takes concentration to do most things . I wash my face mornin and night and feels like a sloppy once over. I use to speed type but now its hand peck and my only source of sanity.My sleep is in incriments of 2 to 3 hrs if im lucky. Dr. put me out of work from the Er they werent happy when i told them of the tratment the wc is giving me so they said until u can be revaluated no work. but i had a sittin job which takes no effort so at least i have some sort of income. THank the Lord. The orthopedic before the wc wasnt payin anymore said which actually my job was payin out of pocket and didnt report my claim till 12 days later in the game so they didnt have to pay the insurance but anyways. THe orthopedic said if it were up to him hed do a emg , he suspects compression of the ulner and gave me a shot rt above the shoulder blade for some nerve root relief.this as i said left my left numb a well. I awake with curled fingers attachin themselves to one another but once i get movin they straighten out a bit . The rt is worse than left as in i can straighten lft almost all the way but still has numbpinky and ring but rt is at a curl. The carpal nerves are swelling and adds to the pain. i have to do things for myself thers no way i go without a bath and goin potty lol. gripping or pulling something towards me is great pain actually makes it worse. All around im in pain and my appeal is in in meantime i suffer. i know surgery is my next step. Is anyone got any ideas on what to do till then what makes it calm down i can deal with the numbness for now but the pain is getting worse. helpppppppp in NC. ty

  54. Kath says

    My was meant to be worker’s compensation as well but i went ahead and paid for it myself. Having worked in Legal for 23 years it is not worth the stress, yes it is alot of expense but insurance companies have experts to disprove any claim. I was told both arms were caused from work but higher chance of recovery when not worker’s compensation. Yes, I cannot afford being off work unpaid for 6 months for both arms and I may even not be able to return to job on same pay but I could fight it and still lose.

  55. Sherry says


    I also have headaches all day everyday. I have been on vicodin for 4 years now and now I am scheduled to have the ulnar nerve transposition on November 6th. I know that I have herniated discs in my neck (c-5 through 8)and I sincerely believe that all of my problems are neck related. How do you feel?

  56. Claire says

    Hi everyone.
    I had ulnar nerve transposition to left elbow in August. I am still off work due to pain, tingling, extreme sensitiveness. I’m tired all the time, I ache. I type for a living, so can’t do that full-on at the moment. Because of the pain I’m now using my left arm less and less as using it just hurts so much. I still can’t straighten it fully and it hurts as I try. I’m sure it will get better, I’m just so bored not being able to do heavy housework/garden work and other things around the house.
    Fed up, but glad I’m not the only one. Thanks heavens for communication!!
    Take care all of you.x

  57. Chris R says

    Claire. I too type and enter data in my job duties so thank you for sharing. What does your doctor say about the continuing pain? What else is there to do in such a situation?

  58. Kath says

    I too am a full time typist. Have been off work 3 months, and have been told when i return will not probably be able to type full time. Very bored. Going for walks but even this aggrevates the arm as the fingers swell up. Stay at home and get bored because I cannot do anything with hands.

  59. Chris R says

    Wow Kath. So sorry. What was it like prior to your surgery? Pain level; swelling; affect on your work…Just trying to get a comparison.

  60. Kath says


    Although I am a typist/secretary, I was left solely pulling files and boxing them for over 6 months which caused my problems (put pressure on the elbows). I had dislocated ulnar nerves, so they were rubbing and causing lots of problems. I could not move my thumb or write (right arm) and when it hit the left arm it was like someone was zapping my arm with an electric current. Typing became hard but it took 12 months before anyone would do anything about it. Did have a fair amount of swelling, but mainly weird sensations and loss of feeling in fingers. Right arm felt like I had permanently hit funny bone. Still have these feelings after both surgeries and hoping that it is only temporary due to swelling from surgery. Only time will tell.

  61. Claire says

    Hi again, nice to see i’m not the only typist. I’m back at hospital this week, so will let you know what the consultant says after then.

  62. Shirl says

    Hi Everyone! I am on my second rehab for left ulnar nerve transposition – originally had it done 3 years ago (almost to the day!) – I am a left handed chef, so I am constantly using my arm. First go round, I had surgery within 1 month of onset of symptoms. Recovery was about 8 weeks off work, followed by 2 weeks of part time work (no cooking) with arm in sling, no PT because I had surgery so quickly. Three years later, here I am again – 4 weeks off work so far, got a follow up dr. appt with the hope of beginning PT, although I have no idea how long or how often I will be doing that, and not sure when I’ll be returning to work. Hate to admit it, but I may have to find another passion besides cooking, since apparently my left arm is susceptible to nerve issues – the first transposition was a success, but apparently the nerve moved out of position, which created the need for the second surgery. As many people have mentioned, it’s tough, it’s painful and for every single person, the experience is different. This time around, I tried accupuncture which didn’t work. I have been getting regular massages for over 10 years, which helps my attitude, if nothing else!! Keep your chin and arm up and most importantly, maintain a positive attitude as best you can. Yes, I hate my couch, my chairs, my recliner, my bed, because that’s all I’ve seen the past 4 weeks, but this too shall pass….best wishes all!

  63. Kath says


    Thanks for you input as I found it interesting to see yours came back. I asked my OT the other day could this come back as was my worry. I specifically questioned could the nerve move out of place and she reassured me it could not. My worry is I had both arms done and after running commenced having alot of problems with my left arm again. Questioned whether I could have returned to running too soon which caused the nerve to move. All was going reasonably well until this point.

  64. colleen says

    I had Submuscular Ulnar Nerve Transposition Surgery july14,2008 on right arm it is now oct22,2008 three months since surgery the surgery was very painful and slowwww recovery i am still experiencing numbness in ring and pinky finger wasting in hand is no better i expected that and alot of pain new syptom i have is nasty cramping in my middle fingers almost deformed looking when it happens as far as range and motion in arm thats good scar healed ok 4 inch scar when i tell my surgeon about pain and cramping he looks at me like im lying i am so glad i found this site because i go to see my doc today and now i feel confident when i tell him nothings changed since last visit would i do surgery again no. dont get me wrong i have read alot of success stories but mine was not one of them alot of times these surgeries are unsuccessful which i was told by my doc but as far as new syptoms and more pain then before surgery i was not imformed about good luck to all of you and thank you for letting me vent….

  65. Shirl says

    According to my surgeon, it doesn’t happen very often, but it can move out of place. As I have done a lot of blog reading and research into the matter, because of course I thought I was crazy, it seems as though it happens much more often than first thought.

    Went to Dr. today – 2 more weeks in splint and then 2 weeks of very light range of motion exercises. Good news though, the dr. said I was healing very quickly and very well and probably wouldn’t need PT. That’s fantastic.

    Would I do the surgery again – yes, because the alternative of living with that hellish nerve pain, and unless you’ve had it, it’s really hard to describe it, isn’t really an alternative to me. I had 3 great years totally pain free and hopefully once this is done, in the next few months, it will be well secured to not come undone (dr. made sure of that!! ) Numbness will be around for a while, but that I can live with no problem.

    Best wishes all…

  66. Kath says

    Since my surgery to both arms I have also had weird cramping in fingers. Problem is, you can’t mention to doctor or treating people that you still have pain or additional pain, because they will then try to say it is a pain syndrome and that you simply cannot switch off the pain process. If all else fails, throw the blame back on the patient. My concern is if I dare mention to the doctor I still have problems, this is what will happen. Yet what am I to do, live with no arms?

  67. Todd says

    I am glad I found this forum. I am having surgery on the 29th just 6 days away. Noone mentioned the amount of pain that I will be in to me. It is almost enough to scare me away from this surgery. I was hit by a car on jan 5th of this year and that is the trauma that started this. I had my 1st emg in febuary and they said it was healing on its own. After a couple of months as it was still getting worse it was like pulling teeth to get anyone to listen. I had my 2nd emg in may and they said no improvement still no referal to anyone about it. Then as the wasting continued in july I finaly convinced my doc that it still was not getting better they scheduled me for an MRI and it showed a flattened nerve at the elbow. I have a very high pain tolerance and am glad from the sounds of it im going to need it.
    The thing thats starting to worry me is that I am self employed in construction and if I do not have full use of both of my hands I can not work. But the doc is telling me after about 2 months he will allow me to return to work on a one handed basis. If he actually does that my insurance will stop paying my wage loss. If I had an employer in this line of work they could not use me. Then the ins would continue to pay but being self employed the insurance will not alow me to say I can not do the work. Any ideas from anyone away around that?
    Not looking forward to this but it sounds like my only way now. I have lost over half of my strenth in that arm and most of the fine motor skills in that hand. its this or nothing.
    Good luck to you all.

  68. Kath says


    I was told around 3 months before I can return to work having both arms done 2 weeks apart. I personally haven’t experienced the extreme amount of pain post surgery that everyone is talking about so you may be okay. Having said this I still have not returned to work and have the same concerns as you, what if it doesn’t work. I don’t need the stress of appealing under worker’s compensation so have been left off work unpaid for 3 months and should it not work I daily question what will happen to me. You just have to be positive and tell yourself it will work but remember not to push yourself too hard, as it is a very slow process and have been told even when i return to work it may be 12 months before everything kicks into place.

  69. Shirl says

    Been told the nerve regenerates at approximately 1 mm per day. There are about 25.5 mm in an inch so it’s about 1 1/4 inches of regeneration a month – depending on severity and length of scar, you can figure out how long you will have numbness and tingling in fingers post surgery. It doesn’t always take that long, however. Last time I had it done, I went back to work after 2 months, but I had tingling in fingers for another 2 months. It’s pretty amazing when one day you wake up and realize your fingers are no longer tingling…. :-D
    Be patient and like others have said, don’t overdo it!

  70. Sherry says


    I just looked at your myspace and saw your pics. Thanks for sharing. Did you have the transposition surgery?

  71. Joby says

    I was told by my doctor that I will need “Transportation of the ulnar nerve surgery. The only problem is,I’ll have to pay out of pocket. Do anyone have any idea what this will cost? (Plus recovery & Rehab)


  72. Kath says

    For submuscular ulnar nerve transposition, the price varies from doctor to doctor, and you have to take into account the fees of anaethetists, assistant surgeon etc. I had to pay out of pocket for both arms – if it has to be done, it has to be done.

  73. me says

    I had my surgery 2 weeks ago. I was having lots of pain until the doc put a long arm cast on with my wrist immobilized.

  74. Shirl says

    Cast all depends on your progress. I had mine on for 5 weeks and now I’m working with just light range of motion for about 2 weeks and then will see how that goes. It seems as though everyone heals differently and in different ways, as is the nature of nerve regrowth, but the average recovery time is about 8 weeks before you can use your hand lightly.

  75. Kath says

    Not everyone has a cast. I had bandaging on each arm for two weeks and then wrist splints for a further 4. I was told it was okay after two weeks to commence bending elbows.

  76. Robin says

    Oh My God after greatneck surgery and now I have an ulnar nerve 4 times bigger in 1 arm with the numbness to fingers I am way too scared, ffs not again I already have chronic pain

  77. aly says

    hi guys – i saw a neurologist today who told me i have to have the transposition operation. i’m a guitarist and just got a new job as a bass player in a band, and it’s the elbow on my fretting arm that will be operated on.

    will i be able to play guitar after the operation? if so, how long does it take before i can? i’m REALLY worried about this as the way my fingers are at the moment, i can still play ok ish and am concerned it’ll do more harm than good.

    great forum guys xx

  78. Shirl says

    I had a long arm cast, followed by a long arm splint – cast for 10 days, splint for 5 weeks. Today is the first day without the splint and I can say it hurts like hell…!! It is my dominant arm and I am a chef, so I am using the arm 15-16 hours a day at work and of course, doing regular household stuff at home. Everybody’s experience is different, in fact, this is my second time around with the same arm and it’s different from the first time. Nerves have a mind of their own….good luck!

  79. Shirl says

    If you’re at all concerned – go get a second and or third opinion – take your xrays, EMG reports, dr. notes, whatever you have and see what someone else has to say.

  80. says

    I had carpel tunnel surgery in 2006 both hands 6 months apart with ulna nerve release at the wrist. I still had problems and ended up with ulna nerve tranposition surgerys in 2007 on both elbows. I have residual nerve damage and I am being asked by the insurance and my work to submit to another EMG to find out if they can figure out if there is any other surgical procedures that they can perform to fix the permanent damage from the other surgerys. At this date I have limited fine motor skills and I am very leary to any suggestions or inquirys of more surgerys. I still have days of limited arm usage and cannot lift over 10 pounds, even that seems to be alot some days. The pain still can be unbearable and still have shooting pain in both arms somedays. It seams to be worse on rainy days. I have been told that this is impossible and that it dosn’t make any sense. And no; there are no days without any pain,just days that I can tolerate it better. There is also the popping of the bones in the wrist and elbow when I turn them a certain way. I guess it is probally because of the limited ways in which I can actually move my upper extremities. I am still better off than other people and still have hope that I could possible get some of my limitations to change for the better.My attorney just sent me to a hand specialist in Chicago and I am wating for his report to find out what to do next, until then I have decided lots and lots of ibuprofen will dull the pain. Good luck to everyone who just had the surgery and to you who are thinking about the surgery, I agree with one of the other person who replied,DO NOT LET A ORTHOPEDIC DOCTOR MESS WITH THE NERVES,SEE A NERO FIRST AND LET HIM OR HER FIX THE PROBLEM. IT IS TO RISKY AND ANY MISTAKES COULD BE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU NOT TO DO THE SURGERY OR BULLY YOU INTO THE SURGERY THINK ABOUT IT FIRST AND ASK ALOT OF QUESTIONS AND ASK YOUR ORTHOPEDIC IF HE WILL SET YOU UP TO TALK TO SOME OF HIS OTHER PATEINTS WHO HAVE ALREADY DONE THIS SURGERY.

  81. me says

    shirl, I saw my doc today & he said 2 more weeks for cast. I have a fiber long arm cast. My arm feels good in the cast. I know it will hurt like Hwhen I get the cast off. Also he said I will not have much motion for awhile.

  82. Shirl says

    The most difficult part is to rein yourself in – do not overdo it!! (Unfortunately I’m speaking from experience….lol…much easier said than done) – or your nerves will let you have it! For me, I think, the hardest part is the “doing nothing” part to let the arm heal properly. Short of keeping it in the cast, or in a sling, it’s a tough thing to remember.

  83. Kath says


    I agree about reining yourself in. Very hard to do. You feel good so you go for it then pay the price. Think they should put us all into an induced coma for a few months until the healing process has finished, but I suppose this is a bit extreme.


    Be assured, having worked in legal myself, the insurance company is not wanting more tests to help you, they will be wanting these so they can limit you claim or disprove it, they are not in the business of helping. I too have popping in shoulders, elbows and wrist, but of course no one wants to know about this. Don’t let anyone tell you that it being worse in rainy whether is impossible. I get exactly the same thing and in humidy. The same doctors who want to say something is impossible, say this because it has never occurred to them. It is a case of them just wanting to jump in do the surgery and not worry about the aftermath. If the surgery is not a complete success they don’t want to knnow you and either say you have a low pain tolerance or that it is not text book.

  84. Jeff says

    Hello everyone
    I am a paid fulltime firefighter and one month ago i was struck by a fire hose coupling to my right elbow at work. It has been one month now sitting at home in a cast for workmans comp to approve tests(workmans comp is a joke). Emg and bone test. I finally after a month have had both tests done. The nerve emg test stated minimal damage to the ulnar nerve. And the bone scan was no help because I was unable to straighten my right elbow. My elbow is on fire right now, my 2 little fingers go numb and i get sharp burning pains right where my ulnar nerve sits. Which is where I was hit dead on. Is this symptoms that all of you have experienced? Im going back to the doctor on wednesday to have a follow up and am looking for more info associated with my symptoms. Im kinda freaked out now reading this fourm if surgery is my only option. I mean i have to have full range of motion and good hands in the profession that im in. Any info would be great. thought ideas are accepted.

  85. Shirl says

    Before you head into surgery, there are a few things that you and your doctor can discuss….something might work…..anti-inflammatories – it’s possible that your nerve was disturbed when it was hurt (by the way, thank you for what you do and ouch for how it must have felt..) and may settle down after some time with anti-inflammatories. Sometimes physical therapy can help, sometimes a shot of Cortisone can help – discuss with your doctor all the options. I would say, on average, it is at least a 4-6 month course of action before surgery is really considered an option, unless, of course, the EMG shows clear damage. Good luck to you!

  86. Jeff says

    Thanks For the reply. I tried Physical Threapy for 2 weeks after the first week of injury and it just seemed to make things worse. (thats why Im in a cast right now) and I have also been taking 4 aleve a day to help with the pain. I go to the doctor Tuesday so I will ask about the Cortisone shot. I forgot to add in the last post that this is the 2nd time this has happend to the elbow. The first time I was hit by a baseball to the same area. Was in a cast for 6 weeks while they tried to figure out what was causing the pain. They kept saying that i just brused the nerve along with a hairline fracture to the growth plate in the elbow. So just my luck I get hit again in the same spot as before.

  87. mike says

    Hi All, I had surgery on oct 16th 08. Cast off in ten days. Fishing two days later(not reccomended.) I had my nerve completley moved under my muscle on topside. 36 hours of pain meds and thats it. Also had tendon operation at same time due yo atrophy. If its bad dont wait. Find a good doc and go for it. Arm hurts a little and is weak, but its just been a little over three weeks. Doc said muscle probably wont come back. Pinky still numb. Ring finger great. Coordination much better. Big Scar. Dont let your hand get worse. Accupuncture controls pain, Nerve controls muscle. Reasearch a good doc and have it done. It isnt perfect yet but good attitude, good doc, and good family and friends will get you thru. Good luck to all and god bless.

  88. mike says

    P.S emg test showed severe damage. I got hit by a wooden spoon(which broke) by a ex. Thought i pinched something and waited too long. Athropy (muscle loss) happens quick. Dont wait. Get checked out. The faster you address this problem the quicker your recovery time will be.

  89. Larry says

    Some seem to have had great results,others not. Am having Ulner Nerve Transposition (submus) on November 18. Doc is lengthing, by repositioning, one of the muscles. Is this normal? Then on Dec. 30, same elbow (right) am having arthoscopic to repair tendon (cut, then reattach to elbow). With both the doctor said i should be playing tennis and golf by May 1, racquetball a month or so later. I took him at his word…what do you all think? Larry

  90. Shirl says

    Mike – that’s a great recovery story – too bad your ex caused the problem…

    Larry – sounds reasonable – after I had my first surgery three years ago, everything was great – resumed normal activities after 3 months and had absolutely no issues until 6 months ago, but it is unusual to have a recurrence.

    Starting a month of physical/occupational therapy and it’ll be back to normal for me as well….

  91. Steve says

    Had ulnar nerve transposition done Sept 29th 2008.Was in a half-cast (cast part where the elbow is)that ran from about mid-bicep to wrist.cast was very tight at wrist.after asking doctor he said he did that on purpose so i didnt move my wrist.it was very uncomfortable and made me try and move my wrist out of the pressure.now almost 2mos later,pain is ok when i have medication (p-5’s 2@ a time every 6hrs.)no idea why he didnt just prescribe 10mg but thats what he wanted.had cast on for 8 days.took off the cast and took out the stitches at that time.had mild bruising.oh my symtoms went on for maybe 6-8 mos before i had anything checked out (bad idea sooner is better) Doc has no idea if i will get feeling back in my two fingers.not too worried about that though.Had only numbness before surgery then after emg and nerve test i guess they woke my nerve up because pain started then and still goes on to this day.when i do PT (which i do 3 times a week) i get very sore afterwards actually took a few sessions off just to feel better but am back at it now.have good days and bad pain wise.best advice is what most say here.Take it slow when u think ur feeling good tell urself ur not. dont overdo it.good luck all.

  92. Steve says

    Oh yea.Neck pain all the time (had that checked too before i had surgery, said it was just mild degenerative discs)headaches too,very servere migrains at times(another thing the pain meds seem to help).while i take them none of those symptoms show up,soon as im off them for a day or two all the pains come back..very disturbing as i do not wish to be on medication my whole life.got this done(hopefully fixed) now i will start squeeking the wheel to get the other things that bother me givin some attention to.We will see how it all goes. oh sorry good luck ubuntu-geek hope things are well

  93. me says

    My cast is do to come off in a week. I would like to keep it on longer. I have no pain in my arm with the cast on. I will have had it on for 4 weeks. Does anyone have any ideas what I can say to the doc to let me keep it on?

  94. Kath says

    Better to get the cast off. I know how you feel, I did not have a cast, just bandaging and splints, and when this came off at week 2, this is when I started to experience problems again. Having said that, it is better off because the bandaging caused severe stiffness to my thumbs and now 11 weeks on for both arms, I am having ongoing problems with both thumbs. The sooner it comes off the sooner you can get movement back in your arms and wrist. Unlike me, don’t let them delay sending you for physiotherapy.

  95. Shirl says

    I initially had a full cast, immediately following surgery, for 10 days. After 10 days, I had more of a full splint – protected the underside of my arm and elbow – held on with Ace bandages, so I could remove it for showering. After 4 weeks, the dr. and I decided to keep the full splint on another 2 weeks, since my arm was still too sore to move around a whole lot, but I was able to remove the splint and slowly work into light range of motion activities – VERY light. Now I am starting physical therapy and I find I am extremely sore afterwards, but it’s all part of progress.
    Me – what I would recommend is discuss your feelings and concerns with the doctor and remember above all else – it’s YOUR arm – you direct your treatment with your doctor’s advice and help. Good luck!

  96. Kath says

    I agree, concerns should be discussed with your specialist/doctor. This is fine, but the majority of specialist don’t mind doing the surgery, but afterwards want to dismiss you if things have not turned out as they expected. I had both arms done two weeks apart. I was armless, live alone, and had to do everything for myself. This has never been taken into consideration, and then when I pull a muscle in my arm I am set back further. I have had to return to work earlier than anticipated as I have been off unpaid, but do doctor’s care – not at all. They just dismiss it saying that it is no longer their area of expertise!

  97. me says

    kath, your right doctors don’t take into consideration if we live alone. I also live alone and that is one reason I would like to keep the cast on longer. This way I know things will be healed

  98. Mike says

    I am so sorry to hear that some people have had a terrible time with this operation. Its been a little over a month, and yes my elbow is swollen(ugly too). My pain is is no where unless I push myself too hard. My procedure was oct 16, cast off oct 28.
    Only one and 1/2 days of pain. My nerve was in bad shape. Repaired my tendon at the wrist at he same time. Pinkie still numb. Ring finger pretty damn good. Strength sucks. I also suffered some muscle loss in my fore- arm. No real pain. thats Why I feel thet it is unfortunate that still doctors are a unproven science. I wish everyone a speedy painless recovery. Please anyone who is about to have this operation do your homework. Find a doctor(mine was ortho)who has performed this procedure many many many many many TIMES!!! Be Well all

  99. Steve says

    Thats great Mike(other than the swelling) glad theres no pain for you.I just keep going to physical therapy and asking as many questions as I can to whoever has two cents to add.One therapist said that maybe neurotin(is used for siezures and nerves)might be an option for me.I had this done because I didnt want to lose the use of my left hand.Had no pain before surgery so its really tough for me to swallow the pain I have now.Wrist feels like it wants to explode(ecspecially at night)I guess because I use it all day and it lets me know I’m doing too much.Doctors arent very sympathetic they seem to think that I should be pain free by now.downgraded my prescription to vicoden ES which gave me a nice headache but did nothing to relieve me from any arm pain I am having.I think they are in ween-off mode with me.I got a little upset at the physician assistant thay told me I didnt need to be taking what I was taking so I um got a little ,lets say,pissed and told her off.Anyway they changed it back to what it was and now as I;m not pain free the pain is tolerable.PT people keep telling me that with my injury I could expect a 3-6 month recovery period leaning more towards the 6 month region.Good Luck to all on speedy recoveries

    • jo says

      Steve…you experience is very similar to mine. My surgery was six weeks ago and my pain before was nothing like now. My arm and hand pulsate always. I can’t get any relief. How long were you in pain. I am going back to the dr next week and he thinks he needs another nerve conduction study. Did you have to have more surgury?

  100. Kath says

    Personally, doctors are not worth pissing on! My left arm is worse than it was prior to surgery, can now no longer rotate shoulder, yet am being dismissed as not his area. Funny how it was his area prior to doing the both lots of surgery.

  101. Lisa says

    I had ulnar trans and carpal tunnel release on my right arm/wrist on May 7, 2008. I would never do it again. The surgical pain was bad, the splint uncomfortable and annoying. But the worst thing is that it did not help at all. I received injuries at work in Jan 08 and while I received treatment surgery was not recommended until April so by then the damage was too severe. The muscle wasting and everything is irreversible. On top of the original pain and numbness I now have cold fingers all the time, my pinky and ring finger draw up, and on rainy days the pain in my my elbow and hand is awful. I have no control when I type and no grip. Basically if your EMG says there is damage get the surgery done by a neuro surgeon fast. God bless.

  102. Steve says

    Now stories like yours are the ones that scare me the most Lisa.I hope things reverse and get atleast a little better for you.Everytime I think I’m taking a step forward I take three steps back.I guess I just need to be patient and not throw up the white flag until theres nothing else to do.Everyone I talk to stays very positive with me trying to give me hope of the all is well.Good Luck Lisa I hope you get well soon!

  103. me says

    I just got my cast off {fiberglass long arm cast with my wrist immobilized for 5 weeks). Right now my arm hurts like hell. The good thing is no more numbness in fingers. Also I have very little bicep pain which was bad before. The pain I have right now is from being in the cast for 5 weeks. The skin is dry and raw with rash. The DOC said no PT. He said do it on my own. I already can straighten and bend arm pretty good with pain. I also have no strength. Time will tell.

  104. me says

    I just got my cast off {fiberglass long arm cast with my wrist immobilized for 5 weeks). Right now my arm hurts like hell. The good thing is no more numbness in fingers. Also I have very little bicep pain which was bad before. The pain I have right now is from being in the cast for 5 weeks. The skin is dry and raw with rash. The DOC said no PT. He said do it on my own. I already can straighten and bend arm pretty good with pain. I also have no strength. Time will tell.

  105. curtis s says

    I had the surgury done 9/30/08. My arm is still healing. i get some pain but not like before, i can’t wait for it to go away for good.

  106. me says

    Anyone who has had this surgery. How long did it take to get any strength in your arm and wrist? At this point I can’t even open doors. I have a lot of pain turning the door knob. L have no strength when lifting something.

    • Margie says

      I had ulnar nerve transportation and carparel tunel done at same time.My surgery was oct.13 08.I still am unable too bend my arm all the way.When I try and bend it the pain is unbearable.I started therapy 2 weeks after surgery.Theripist said I will need another 4 weeks at least.I knew the pain would be bad but not about loss of range in motion,it was never mentioned.I still have lots of pain in my pinkie.At times my pinkie feels like it is no longer part of my body.I wouldn’t call it numb just either pain or like it isn’t there.Doctor told me the problem with my pinkie is due to scare tissue and not bending all the way.I blame that on doctor ,I was told no use at all for 6 weeks.Never was told too bend it before I started therapy.My pain is defenitly worse in my pinkie now than before and it swells constantly.I am either taking percocet or ibprophen at all times.I am sure this is not good.My nerve conductor test showed ulnar nerve pinch at wrist not elbow.Doctor insisted I have done at elbow because that is most likely where most are at.I am concerned he was wrong and this is why I still have pain in pinkie.At this point I would not have this surgery again.

      • Kath says


        Don’t worry about you pinkie, it will eventually come good. My took ages and even at the 14 week mark if I do too much I get the same problem.

        • Margie says

          14 weeks and you still have problems?How is your mobility?I would like to return back at work soon ,but my arm is still stiff .I am a hair stylist so I will be using mine a lot.If at 14 weeks the pain is as it is now I will not be able too work.When you say your took ages has it been 14 weeks or longer?Do you still have a lot of swelling?

          • Kath says


            I am back at work but by the end of the day my left arm has difficulty bending. I did however pull a muscle in this arm. By the end of the day my fingers are really fat and swollen, but I have been told things will eventually start to settle down.

      • Kath says


        I am a bit confused. How come it had to be redone. I asked my specialist can this come back and he said no. He said once the nerve is moved it is moved. I gather you had submusucular ulnar nerve transposition. Thanks for your timeline as well this is really helpful as my specialist is very vague with information.

  107. Shirl says

    I’ve been talking with my PT about what I should be expecting in terms of what I can and can’t do – here’s what she said, take it for what it’s worth and remember everyone is different. On a whole, at the 10 week point, you should be able to do light range of motion activities. After about 12 weeks, you should be able to start with light weights. She said that basically after this surgery you need to retrain your arm and hand and that it’s a very long, slow process. It generally takes about 4-6 months for your nerve to settle down, stop cramping/freezing, etc. Hope these guidelines help somewhat. This is my second time through this and after about 2 months I did get relief the last time. I went back to work after 8 weeks the last time and the therapist told me I was crazy to think I could go back to work after that short amount of time.

    • Kath says


      Thanks for your reply. What confuses me most is, if the nerve was moved, how could it be redone – did it become unhappy in its new location? My specialist said once the nerve is moved it is moved and therefore no more problems. I have concerns because I returned to work too soon without physical therapy and now I am having more problems than before. I know it takes time, but I and post op 16 weeks for one arm and 14 weeks for the other.

  108. Shirl says

    Kath – it is rare for the surgery to have to be redone – lucky me!! Seriously, the dr. and therapist both said it could have been for a number of reasons – I went back to work too soon last time, with no physical therapy, I am a chef and the level of the table I work at makes for the worst extension of my arm, aggravating the ulnar nerve.

    Also, as far as telling if you’re doing too much, here’s what my therapist said – if, when you do an activity, or bend/straighten your arm the pain is about a 4-5 out of 10, you are doing too much and stop. It is not good to push the nerve in this way – nerves are not the same as bones/muscles/tissue – those you can push.

  109. Shirl says

    Margie – please be patient – it will take a long time for your nerve to heal. It seems like forever right now. You might want to get a second opinion from another dr. – take the results of your EMG to them and also ask your current dr. for a complete file to take for a second opinion. Good luck! My surgery was mid September and I still have numb pinkie, elbow, arm, etc. It takes a long, long time for the nerve to regenerate. Meanwhile, be kind to it – don’t overdo it.

  110. Kath says

    If anyone can answer this for me I would GREATLY appreciate it. I have had submuscular ulnar nerve transposition to both arms. Right arm done, then two weeks later the left one. As I had no arms to use and live alone it made life very difficult. 4 weeks after surgery to the left arm I was getting dressed and felt a muscle pull in my bicept. I saw my doctor but he just said this wasn’t possible.

    Meanwhile over 8 weeks on my left arm has trouble lifting above my head or reaching for things. By the end of the day it is very bad. Given I was never told the possible complications of this surgery this is now worrying me and the doctor does not want to know about it. No point seeing another specialists as doctors don’t like to be seen contradicting their “mates”. Given the nerve was burried under the muscle and it is now my muscle that I am having problems with I would like to know if muscle problems is a complication after the surgery or if this has happened to anyone else.

  111. me says

    Kath, If I were you I would force the Doc to check it out. I had my bicep muscle tear and my Doc said there was nothing wrong. I went to another Doc and he said because I waited to long my bicep muscle is not there any more. I always have pain in my arm were the muscle should be. He said the first DOC was a :”:”>?:>”:. I don’t know were live but there is a good Doc in Milwaukee, WI. I also had the Submuscular Trans done on Oct-22-08. My Doc kept my arm in a long arm cast with wrist immobilized for 5 weeks. My cast has been off for 1 week and I already have all my range of motion back. My arm no longer falls asleep when I bend it. No numbnees in fingers. The only problem is there is still alot of pain in my arm and by the incsion.

    • Kath says

      Thanks for that. I will see my hand therapist during the week and discuss with her. Unfortunately I live far away from America (Australia), but trust me, the frustration I am feeling at the moment I am very tempted to take my treatment overseas.

  112. tamara says

    I had the ulnar nerve surgery on Nov 7th 2008. I fell rollerskating 10 years ago and have had severe elbow problems ever since. About 8 months ago I had to cover a co-worker’s load as she was out for surgery and my typing doubled causing my arm/wrist and fingers to fall asleep. My ortho said I needed the nerve released. Right away after surgery I noticed the numbing and tingling was gone. I was given a full fiberglass cast for 2 weeks then given a removeable fiberglass cast/splint wrapped with an ace bandage and started therapy. During my first therapy session I was extremely tight, no function or movement in my wrist or elbow. I had good use of my hand when it was in the splint as I used it a lot during the 2 weeks.

    It’s been almost 1 week since my 1st therapy session and I cannot straighten my elbow/arm or bend it to touch my shoulder or face area. I have good function in my wrist however. I have my 2nd therapy session on tuesday dec 2nd, and I hope by then or soon after I can straighten my arm and drive.

    How long till most of you were able to straighten your arm, bend it to touch your shoulder and drive??

    How long were you off work?
    My doctor has me off work as of now until dec 22nd, but I am assuming I will probably be out another week or 2 after that.

    My surgery was a success though. I had one of the top ortho’s at Kaiser and my scar is a good scar as well. I had just a slight bruising.

    • Kath says


      I was off work 3 months (I am a secretary) after having both arms done. Even though your surgery was a success take it easy and don’t get too carried away doing things. I thought my left arm was fine but obviously did too much and now have to see my specialist again because of a torn muscle. Slow and steady!

      • tamara says

        Thanks Kath. Yea I’m taking it very slow. I’m doing the exercises the doctor gave me and trying to do things on my own (normal day to day things) that way I can straighten it on it’s own without feeling like I am pushing it. How long until you were able to straighten your arm and bend it to touch your shoulder? How long until you started driving?

        • Kath says


          regarding being able to touch my shoulder, both arms were different. The right one which was done first took ages before I could bend it properly and even now gets locked up. I had no therapy so it took around 10 weeks, however, the left arm which was doing well has gone backwards and now does not want to bend. Get a good hand therapist and let her/him guide you.

    • Margie says

      My surgery was oct. 13. I have had 14-16 sessions of therapy now.I am still off work and have my next recheck on dec. 23.I hope I can return too work then.I am not very optimistic about that though.My arm still does not bend all the way.Lots of pain still trying to bend it.I have only been able for a week now to touch my face.I can finally put eye make -up on .But it is still a stretch with pain involved and fingers are shaky.My little finger still goes numb,and lots of pain.Also the last week or so it wants too curl up at times.My therapist said it could be muscle damage.

  113. Beth says

    I had Ulnar repositioning, carpal tunnel and repair of tfcc in right wrist and in elbow. On Nov. 20, 08. The pain not so bad. It is very aukward and unconfortable. I have a cast on wrist and forearm splint on the elbow. I have been told to take my splint off and bend my elbow back and forth 8 -10 times a day. I have only have taken darvacet. So far so good I guess. The numbness is hardly ever there any more. I hope it stays this way.

  114. me says

    Beth, do you have a fiberglass wrist cast. And why did the doc do only the wrist and not the whole arm? My arm was in a cast from fingers to shoulder.

  115. Chris says

    I had Ulnar Nerve Transposition on my right arm on Nov. 10, 2008. The brace (no cast) was removed one week later and I was told to begin moving the arm around. Less than two weeks later (the 22nd) I spent 5 hours on a plane for Thanksgiving in Tuscon. Funny, there was no pain until Tuesday of this week and now it’s REALLY uncomfortable (up and down the arm, under my arm, and on the right side of my chest). I finally broke down and took an Oxycodone pill last night. Question: it seems like arm pain is normal, but what about under the arm and extending into the chest? Wish I’d found this discussion before I’d had the surgery. Seems like I may need more time to recover!



    • Kath says


      I was getting pain in chest bone as well, pain got so bad I was wheezing alot. I also get alot of discomfort in the collar bone which radiates into the chest. And yes, I agree with you, this website is wonderful. Given my doctor told me nothing about risks and complications or what to expect after surgery I thank God I found this site. It is a pathetic world when one has to depend on a website to find out information specialists should be providing, but once they have done their surgery they are no longer interested in you, particularly when the result is not as good as they wanted.

  116. Teri says

    I had ulnar nerve transplant surgery on 11/26/08. Today is day 5 and I just had the drainage tube removed. Except for the long incision, my arm doesn’t look too bad. I had some swelling in my hand/fingers for the first couple of days. I did not have a cast, only an ace wrap and that was removed today. I am able to bend and staighten my arm with very little pain. I am returning to work tomorrow with limitation to not lift anything over 5 pounds. (I have a desk job)
    I am really glad I had the surgery. I put it off for 9 months due to fear. I hope this helps, this seems to be a common problem.

  117. Jamie says

    Ohhhhh man am I getting nervous now!! I have surgery tomorrow morning and have been telling myself that things would go great and that the recovery would be easy, but it seems that most of you are having a real hard time. Although, most of you that had a real bad time seem to have had the submuscular transposition and I am having the subcutaneuos version, so maybe that’s easier. I am mainly concerened about the recovery times you are all facing. I am a massage therapist and they only put me out for 6 weeks and it seems its taking you all alot longer than that to get back. I have a GREAT surgeon that I trust completley, but he said I would be fine by 6 weeks out, but that I would have to realize when I went back that I wouldn’t be as strong as I’m used to being. Does anyone think that that is going to be possible?? I trust people who have experienced it more than the Dr preforming it. I guess I will have to wait a few days to see your responses, as I imagine the next couple days I will not be on the computer. I wish you all the best of luck and will think positive thoughts for all of us to speed along in our recoveries. Whoever said thinking positively helps was right, however when your in massive amounts of pain that is the last thing you want to hear, so I won’t say anymore before someone tells me off!! JK. Wish me luck and I will look forward to any advice anyone wants to offer when I am well enough to return to the computer.

    • Margie says

      MY surgery was not scheduled for transposition .Doctor said once he opened me it looked badly damaged so it had too be moved.I was told 6 weeks also .Now doctor says 8-10.I think I am 7-8 weeks out with lots of pain stiffness,and weekness.Good luck.I am a hair stylist,can’t imagine you will be back to massaging in 6 weeks.

  118. Kath says


    Don’t worry too much, from what I have been told the ulnar nerve transposition is the one that takes the longest time, so you hopefully will have a speedy recovery.

  119. Chris says

    I wish I hadn’t returned to work so soon (1 week) and traveled (at 2 weeks after surgey). But the pain and discomfort is slowly going away. My wife will never forgive me for calling this surgery trivial and basically ruining our Thanksgiving vacation to Tuscon! Wish I’d brought the Oxycodone!

  120. Teri says

    Today was my first day back to work. I’m having trouble with shooting pains from my elbow to my hand. I guess I will have to be patient, it has only been 6 days since my surgery.
    If anyone is interested, I will share the pictures that were taken of my arm yesterday. My email is sunkistmama2000@yahoo.com.

  121. Jamie says

    Well, its been 24 hrs and so far not too bad. I cant believe I’m on the computer, but after almost 24 straight hours on the couch, its good to sit up. I appreciate all your comments, words of advice, encouragements. My arm feels fine when I’m holding still, starts to burn with movement. The sling helps, the wrap from fingers to shoulder will take some getting used to. Even slight pressure on the fingers causes discomfort. Nothing I can’t handle yet, but they told me they pumped the arm full of numbing & pain meds, so I bet that those will be out of my system by today. Being one armed is hard, I can’t imagine those who did both, more power to you!! K, I’m starting to get some burning, so I’m gonna lay down again. I have a BIG tendency to over do things that I really need to watch myself and not push it. You guys taught me that from reading!! Hope all is well for everyone.

    • Margie says

      I had bad burning for 2 days doctor said it is normal.Pain got worse after therapy.some times not bad some times it is.

  122. me says

    ATTN: CHRIS AND KATH, sounds like the way your explaining your chest pain you might have pneumonia. I would call the DOC. I never had chest pain. And as I mentioned before I had a cast on for 5 weeks and I think it helped with the healing. I have full range of motion. I do have alot of pain in my muscle area and lower arm. Also my inscion is sore. When my arm was in the cast there was NO pain. I have not had any physical therapy. I am moving my arm on my own. And beleive me I am using my arm (moping floors, shoveling snow, etc.).

    • Kath says

      Definitely not pneumonia. Physiotherapist said that unfortunately most of my problems are coming from my neck/shouders, chain reaction and thus the muscle in the colar bone get tight and do the same with the chest muscles. It was suggested I get a sports massage, this helped with the chest discomfort, but neck keeps wanting to go out – old age, it’s a wonderful thing! Pulled muscle in arm ain’t helping much.

      Advice to everyone, DO NOT get both arms done two weeks apart, unless the swelling has gone down completely in the first arm. This has been my downfall. Living alone, with no one to assist, without arms – very hard, but if you like a big challenge, this is the way to go. Has been good having this site to converse to people with same ailments, makes you feel you aren’t alone.

  123. tamara says

    Jamie, I too had the numbing medicine in my arm/hand and it was numb the first day or so. I felt pretty good the night after surgery. The next day was a whole other story. I started to get sick from the pain meds and I wasn’t eating. You don’t really notice how much it sucks that you are one armed until you are better enough to start going out or doing stuff in public. When I was laying in bed with my mom/bf helping do everything for me it was nice. Once I started to want to wash my hair, do my hair/makeup, get dressed….etc…it sucked!! But I am doing really well. I don’t think I have lost any strength in my arm/hand due to the surgery. I didn’t have much strength to begin with though prior to surgery due to my accident. I’ve been out since nov 7th. My next appt is dec 15th and I have an off work order through dec 21st. I still cannot bend or straighten my elbow. I went to my 2nd phys therapy appt yesterday and my therapist put me on the mat to stretch my arm out. Hurt sooo bad!! At my first therapy session (2 weeks after surgery) I measured a 50 on the straigtening of my arm. Now I am at 35 1 week later. The goal is 0 so I had some improvement. It will just take a while. I imagine I will be out of work antother month probably….thru mid jan.

  124. Jamie says

    Thanks Margie & Tamara for comments about the burning. Last night was the most pain I’ve had so far and my stomach was not happy. I had eaten earlier but haven’t had the desire since. Physical therapy is hard to endure, at this point I can’t even fathom it. I’m glad that you are having improvement. I guess its no pain, no gain. I’m not looking forward to going out into the world. I really want to bathe today, but the process sounds tiring. I managed to convice my hair guy to wash and blow dry my hair for free one time since I cant & my boyfriend is bald, so he’s no help!! Don’t know when I’ll go do that, but it will feel great. Have a good one all.

    • tamara says

      I had my mom take me to a nearby hair salon to shampoo. Usually it’s just around $5 and it’s a lot easier than trying to lean your head over the sink or something. Your day to day getting ready routine will seem exausting but after a few weeks it gets easier and easier and will help your healing process to move it and try to regain the flexion and extension.

    • Margie says

      I was lucky with hair styling all my co workers have been great at helping with shampoo and style.I guess this is one of the many perks from being a hair stylist.I am able to do my own now .It is still very tiring doing my hair and make up or even getting dressed.I felt like such a slob when I wasn’t able too stretch my hand too my eye so I could apply my make up.It still hurts and is very draining.Yes wrapping the arm before stitches are out is a pain.But a hot shower feels so relaxing it is worth the trouble.

  125. Rhonda Hagge says

    I am so nervous am having the ulnar nerve transposition on Monday, did most of you go home that same day? That is my understanding of what I am going to do and I live 2 hours away from the hospital will be spending night before in the city. I am so tired of the constant pain now that I can’t wait for something to make that go away too!!!!!! How long until you could drive? I am having the right one done first left isn’t as bad so will wait awhile. I really appreciate this sight as it has made me search out a neuro surgeon instead of a othopedic. I hope that was the answer I am a nurse so I worry so much about complications. Thanks again everyone!!!!!!! Rhonda from Iowa

    • margie says

      It was about 2 weeks before I drove.I drove with one hand for about 2 more weeks after that.My family doctor had told me a neuro surgeon also ,but mine is work comp. so I ended up with an ortho instead.I was worried about my drive home also it is only about 30 minutes but much farther than with any other surgery I have had.It was not bad though I wasn’t sick at all.My main issue is little finger is worse than before.It now wants too draw up all the time,swells,and hurts much worse now.Good luck.

  126. me says

    ATTN::, As I said in my previous post I had a LONG ARM CAST with my wrist immobilized for 5 weeks. After the cast came off I had full range of motion after 4 days.I had no physical therapy. I worked my arm on my own. My arm was sore and painfull by the incsion. My cast has been off for 2 weeks now and my arm still hurts but it is bearable. I am also using it alot and I mean alot. If I was going to have the surgery I would ask the DOC for a cast. (I am going to have my left arm done in 3 weeks and I will have another cast) It seems like the persons who had it done and were out of there splint in a week have had nothing but trouble. RHONDA I was driving same day as surgery. You have to be the boss of it because everybody acts different on pain killers. Also ask your DOC FOR CAST and leave it on for 5-6 weeks. It is a pain at first but after a few days you get used to the cast. I had NO pain and I mean NO pain with the cast. I had an ortho DOC and mine went fine. Keep us posted on how it goes.

  127. Jamie says

    I don’t have an actual cast, but its very similiar except for the hard shell, the outside of mine is an ace bandage, but I agree that with this on the pain has been very minimal. My understanding is that if your procedure is done sub muscular you need the cast and the longer immbolization period. My procedure was sub cutaneous and I will get the splint off 2 weeks after surgery. I did alot of research and asked my surgeon lots of questions. My surgeon is an upper extermity specialist that my ortho referred me to. Also, seems like everyones Dr does it a little different. I am not driving til I get this thing off. I just dont want to be in a situation on the road where I feel I need 2 hands to be in control and not have that option, but will admit if it was longer I might try. Gettin a lil stir crazy. Went for a short easy walk yesterday which was 3 days post op and a longer one this morning & picked the pace up a little. Havent attempted make up yet. Taking a bath was hilarious, my boyfriend & I were cracking up at how much help I needed, but it was the 1st one, I plan to get more proficient at it. (= Gotta go get my hair washed today though, it is GROSS!!! Rhonda, dont worry too much, I was so nervous but with the help of everyone on this sight I had knowledge of what could happen ahead of time and everyone is very helpful. It wasnt nearly as bad as I expected it to be. My surgery was at 7am & I was home at approximatley 12:15pm and I live abt 40 mins from the hospital I was at. I appreciate this sight & everyone on it. I actually look forward to checking it for advice & encouragement. Good luck, Rhonda. Everything will go just fine.

  128. Elly says

    hi everyone,
    i broke my arm snowboarding a few months ago, and during the surgery to fix the bone, my surgeon damaged my ulnar nerve. i have absolutely NO sensation on one half of my hand, and the muscles supplied by the ulnar nerve are completely paralysed. i have a lot of pain, my hand is also extremely wasted and the skin has gone all dry and disgusting. i waited 3 months for any signs of recovery in the nerve, but none came, so i had anterior transposition surgery performed by a neurosurgeon last week. i have been reading everyone’s posts and i was wondering if anyone has had such bad damage and had any recovery? from what i have been told the odds aren’t that great, but i am really hoping that i get something back cos my job depends on my hands and i love playing piano, which i can no longer do.

  129. Kath says

    As per my previous blogs, I have submuscular ulnar nerve transposition to both my arms two weeks apart. Maybe someone can enlighten me. I seem to be going backwards. Returned to work as a secretary/typist. Last week tingling, which I always got a little bit in the left arm first three fingers has gotten really bad, however, I now also have this in my right hand which I never had before. It is 16 weeks since my surgery and this is all new to me. Very bad. Has anyone else experienced this or know what it is. Am seeing specialist tomorrow but do not have much faith that I will get anywhere with him. Tingling and burning is driving me crazy when sleeping, walking.

    • SteveHS35 says

      Kath, I had this surgery in April on my left arm and have developed tingling in my first three fingers now also. This did not happen to me before the surgery. Let me know what your specialist thinks.

  130. Jamie says

    Kath, sounds like you are having some carpal tunnel issues. The ulnar nerve goes to your pinky finger and the half of your ring finger closest to the pinky. The median nerve goes to the other 2 fingers and the other 1/2 of your ring finger. I hope the secialist helps. Good luck.

  131. Jarrod says

    I had ulnar nerve transposition and carpal tunnel release done on Nov 21st, 2008. I was in a soft cast (just bandages) for 10 days. After that, the bandages came off and wrist is in a brace. Other than that, things are pretty much fine. Nerve will take a while to heal but its slightly better. Elbow is numb, which wasn’t before the surgery – will follow up with doctor next week.

    I will say – the pictures above look much much worse than mine. I had a single suture in the elbow. It’s swollen but not much bruising at all. No drainage tube needed.

    I’ve been to 3 PT sessions. On the first one I could extend my arm and only lacked 10 degrees from being fully extended. I can do the exercises and touch my shoulder just fine now.

    There is some pain, but not bad. I only took the pain meds the first 2 days after the surgery. Maybe I’m lucky or just had an excellent surgeon.

  132. Margie says

    Has anyone had trouble with the tendon in little finger getting inflamed? I went to doctor because I still have pain and numbness in my pinkie finger.He said my tendon is inflamed.He gave me a cortasone shot between pinkie and ring finger.2 days later it still hurts the same plus it hurts from shot.

    • Elly says

      hi margie,
      i had my surgery three weeks ago and the tendon on my wrist on the palm side is super-inflammed – the skin is red and there is a big lump that is hard. i had an ultrasound today and it confirmed that the tendon is swollen. i have been put on anti-inflammatories. how is your tendinitis going? i hope that it is getting better, thoughts are with you,

      • MARGIE says


  133. Rhonda Hagge says

    well my surgery went great moved my arm right after and have full movement today I do have 12 staples still in until Wed no cast or bandage I just put gauze over it so if I bump it it has a little cushion. Mine is pretty bruised to but not as bad as the pic above. I am back at work too. My surgery was over in 45 minutes and we were on the road to home by 9:30 got home before noon and the ride was fine. Thanks so much for this website it helped me make the decision to have a neurosurgeon and I am very happy with the outcome, the pain is gone finally this pain is nothing to what I experienced before!!!!!!!!!!!

  134. Jamie says

    Its so interesting the differences in what Dr’s have you do after surgery. At my 10 day post op on Friday they took out my stitches & put me in a different splint that I can take on/off to shower &do my PT exercises, but I have to wear it for 2 weeks and can attempt driving in another week. After only a few days I can do the exercises with only minimal discomfort at the beginning and then am fine once I get going. Any extreme bending like trying to put a pony tail in my hair hurts too much to try. No lifting either, but overall doing great. Cant wait for the splint to be a thing of the past, it will be a 1 day late Christmas present, but probably the best one!!

  135. Chris says

    Agree. I had the one month post-op evaluation on Monday. My arm–from the incision up to my shoulder–is still very tender, and I have discomfort/pain under my arm that extends into my chest. The doctor has sent me to PT and prescribed NSAIDs. I was a little (no, a lot) naive going into this, thinking that I’d be back to normal by Christmas! It hurts!


  136. me says

    I had my right arm done on oct-22 and it turned out great. I now have tingling in my whole hand on my left arm. I am going yo have surgery on my elbow ulnar nerve and wrist for carpal tunnel. He is going to do both at the same time. I am having surgery on Tuesday 12-23. And again I will be in a fiberglass long arm cast for 5-6 weeks. The only problem I still have in my right is the incision is sore.

    • Tammy says

      I just found out that I have to have this same sugery. What is it that I am looking at? I pretty much gather it is one day surery, but do they cast it afterwards? I have small kids and I am afraid they may accidentally hit it after the surgery. It is already painful right now. How bad is it and for how long afterwards?

      • me says

        Tammy, You will hurt for weeks. I had both arms done (6 weeks apart) and had a cast on both. They turned out great. I still have some pain but no more tingling or numbness. Docs normally don’t cast but I use my hands and arms alot and am not good on keeping spints on. So my doc thought the best way to heal was in a cast. I fell that my arms healed so good was because they were in casts. I had a long arm cast (fingers to shoulder). Be firm with your doc and ask him to cast. You get used to the cast and don’t even know it there.

      • me says

        Tammy, You will hurt for weeks. I had both arms done (6 weeks apart) and had a cast on both. They turned out great. I still have some pain but no more tingling or numbness. Docs normally don’t cast but I use my hands and arms alot and am not good on keeping spints on. So my doc thought the best way to heal was in a cast. I fell that my arms healed so good was because they were in casts. I had a long arm cast (fingers to shoulder). Be firm with your doc and ask him to cast. You get used to the cast and don’t even know it there.

      • me says

        Tammy, You will hurt for weeks. I had both arms done (6 weeks apart) and had a cast on both. They turned out great. I still have some pain but no more tingling or numbness. Docs normally don’t cast but I use my hands and arms alot and am not good on keeping spints on. So my doc thought the best way to heal was in a cast. I fell that my arms healed so good was because they were in casts. I had a long arm cast (fingers to shoulder). Be firm with your doc and ask him to cast. You get used to the cast and don’t even know it there.

  137. Sherry says

    wowowow.owwwwwwwwwww…i have to have that done too!! is it day surgery? i have to have both done but not at once i imagine arghhh

  138. Kath says


    They will not do both at same time. I did have both done but 2 weeks apart only because of work issues. The doctor was dead against this as it is impossible to function without either arms and causes other problems which I am now experiencing.

    • Sherry says

      i was wondering do you have a cast on after?? It is so painful right now both hands .it is amazing how painful this is!I hope yours are better now.

  139. Tyler says

    Right now, I am a little over four weeks post op from submuscular anterior transposition and I am feeling prettstrengthy fortunate. I almost have full range of motion, with little pain now. I start exercises in a week or so. BUT, the doctor said he had lengthened my tendon. Does anyone know how this is done, or why it is done. Thanks! Will check back later.

    • says

      first my symptoms started on my entire left side. they have been intermittent. the last 4 weeks it has settled in my left hand. i have decreased strength. weakness. my hand contractures at night, and i have severe pain worse at night. after numerous MRI of the brain and c-spine, and nerve conduction tests, muscle biopsies etc… it was determined that i need to have this ulnar nerve transposition surgery asap, because of the significant decline in function. md said it will be permanent if not corrected soon. may already have permanent damage.

    • Sheri says

      I had this done 12 days ago and the carpal tunnel just on the right arm. I could have watched but knowing what they were going to do I asked to be knocked out cold. My carpal surgery did absolute wonders and only thing that bothers be is the incision due to itching from healing. That part was no problem. How they did the other part was cutting off the bony bump on the side of the elbow making a V cut in the remaining bone that is there and rerouting the nerve through the V and replacing the bump. I hurt the next day when everything wore off. I had a removable cast that I was to keep on for 3 days and then remove and cover incisions with bandaids. I already felt better but part of my elbow is still numb and where the incision is is real tender. I can feel every wrinkle in the bed sheets and clothing. Its my right had which is the one I write with so it was hard to write. I started PT 9 days later. Its not that bad but you can feel it being worked. I had stitches in my hand and staples in my elbow. Really it isnt that bad but I wont lie. Its hard to sleep at night. There is pain at first. I felt a whole lot better once the stitches and staples were out. I find that some things I cant do yet since the surgery hasnt been that long ago. Its fun trying to be the passenger in a car in front and trying to close the door. I feel that this was the best thing I have done. Mine was pretty severe. I just dont like being patient. I tried to peel potatoes today but couldnt. And at first when the cast was one it was real fun trying to go the bathroom. I’m just know able to turn doorknobs if I am carrying stuff with my good arm. And the day after the surgery we went out for dinner and had steak. I couldnt cut it and I had to ask my Boyfriend to cut it. Dont be shy and ask for help if you need it and wear a shirt that is baggy or button up but big. You also may want to consider sweats, Pjs or some sort of pull up pants. For about a week. Unless your really talented and can do it with one hand. Hope this info helps.

  140. Jamie says

    Happy Holidays to all!! I am so thankful for this website and all the info that I got from it that I never would have known otherwise. I am doing well. I cheated and took the removable splint off on Monday, it was suppposed to stay on until Friday, but I couldn’t stand it any more. Still taken it easy though. My elbow is sore from being in contact w/ the splint constantly. I have pretty good range of motion, but there are things that hurt like hell if I attempt them. I am nervous abt returning to work, because doing a massage sounds painful, but I have til Jan 12 to get over the fear of the pain. I hope everyone has a great holiday and hope we are all pain free for the New Year.

  141. me says

    I had the surgery on my left arm Tuesday 12-23-2008. The doc did submuscular trans for the ulnar nerve in my elbow and carpal tunnnel on my wrist. My arm and wrist are quite sore and swollen. Right now I am in a half cast (plaster) and lots of padding. On Wed or Fri he is going to put on a long arm cast (fiberglass from fingers to shoulder). When I had my right arm done he did the same thing. I keep it on for 5 weeks and after that I had great success with the pain and range of motion recovery.

  142. pat says

    hi, i had mine done on oct 18, 2008. got the cast off on dec 15, 2008. numbness has dimished greatly. losta lot of strength in the arm. range of motion is 100 percnet now. doc says,if i do something and it causes numbness to stop. i started back at golf last night. woo hoo. i can type again with out the pain in the fingers. i still have boughts of tingling if i over do it with exercise.

    anyone know what we are not suppose to do??

    • Kath says

      Regarding what you can and cannot do, I was told let pain be your guide. If it hurts do not push it, nerves aren’t like bones and don’t like being pushed through pain. I am surprised you a playing golf so soon. I had both my arms done in August/September and have been strictly instructed not to do any sport. Whilst both arms were out of action, both in splints, I was getting dressed one morning and tore a tendon in my left shoulder, 4 weeks ago I did the same thing to the right arm. It took them 16 weeks before they decided to listen to me and run an MRI scan to show this. So my advice to everyone, don’t overdo it. Even if you are feeling good, do half what you normally would do and give the muscles time to heal properly.

    • Margie says

      I had ulnar nerve transposition at elbow and carperal tunnel at wrist oct.13. I just found out I need another surgery for trigger finger.Doctor said I might have done too much to soon.So try and take it a little slower.

    • me says

      Did you have a cast or splint. I had my right arm in a cast for 5 weeks and I do everything with it. It turned out great and I think the cast was the reason. The people on this site who only had splints seem to still be having alot of problems.

      • Kath says


        I agree with you. I am in Australia and only had little splints. I had my surgery done in August to both arms and am now worse off. I have torn tendons now in both arms but it took 18 weeks after reporting feeling the tear for any test to be run. Despite the tear, I am left running around trying to find physio and massage to help and am receiving very little advice on now how to get this all better. Not only am I now having problems with arms and hands but have little use of shoulders. Certainly never think of coming to Australia for surgery!

  143. me says


  144. Steve says

    Well its been 3 mos now.pain in elbow and wrist is still there.More like an ache rather than pain but gets worse the more i do.Going to see a specialist tomorrow.Not sure where this is going but the Doc that performed the surgery said that my sensitivity is very high.When i rub my forearm and palm of hand it sends pins and needle feeling to my pinky and ring finger.He says they may try a nerve med like neurotin which i understand is also used to treat seizures.The other option is to do the surgery over and this time put the nerve under the muscle.I’m not jumping to any conclusions ill wait to see what the specialist says.Still taking Percocet 5mg and also scheduled to go see a pain management doctor.I asked if putting the nerve under my arm would take the constant ache away because if not i dont want that surgery done.I can live with the pins and needles feeling just not the ache.When i go back to work i use my arms for lifting,pulling and i do alot of crawling around so i need to be sure this will hold up to what i’m about to throw at it

  145. Stacey says

    I am having a SubQ transopsition of the the ulnar nerve in my left elbow on Saturday (Jan. 10)AND I was told that I could return to work and school after 1 to 2 weeks because of the pain medications. I know the differences between the subQ and submuscular, but I was just wondering if anyone else was told that they can go back to going about their daily lives(minus restricitions… things like that.) So soon? I’m wondering if they gave me such a short timeframe because I’m so young. My Doc says he never sees a 20 year old with this type of injury.

    • Stephanie says

      I had my surgery 2 weeks ago. I went back to work, with a splint, after 4 days. I am now out of the splint, as of today. I was able to tell a difference the day of surgery. I have very little range of motion in by arm today but the splint just came off. I was given a 1 pound lifting limit for the next 4 weeks while healing continues and range of motion is regained.

  146. Chris says


    I had ulnar nerve transposition (right side) on November 10 and was back at work on the 17th. The arm brace came off on the 18th and I’ve been gradually getting full use of my hand/arm back. I started PT yesterday. Caution: don’t try to overdo it! I traveled to Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tuscon two weeks after surgery. Not a good idea. I was in a lot of pain and without my Oxycodone. My “daily life” nowadays does not involve carrying anything heavier than a coffee cup with my right arm and avoiding handshakes. Fortunately, I’m able to use the keyboard and function pretty close to normal. I’m told it will take a while to get most of my mobility back. Good luck.


  147. David says

    hi, i have both ulnar nerver AND median nerve compression in both arms(mildy tho)

    despite being mild, conservative treatment has only seemed to lessen the symptoms and not cure them.

    surgery is the next step.

    i have a couple questions for ppl who have had this surgery.

    1. did the doc say if there is any permanent,significant- loss of strength -longterm-? i am an athlete that uses his forearms a lot and this worries me a lot about this procedure.

    2. since my condition is mild, i suppose one option is simple decompression w/o transposition. but im worried about the nerve subluxing(as i used to have this problem in the beginning but has stopped for about a year now)

    did the doc say anything about this method of decompression(simple decompression) for any of you?

    and is the scar gonna look really bad for a long time? yeah i know its a silly question to ask, but it does matter..

    thanks for your help

    • Shaunte says

      I have to admit that I got real lucky with my doctor and the scar. The funny part was I didn’t think about the size of the incision until the a few minutes before the surgery…ha ha ha…the doctor came in and told me “I’ll be cutting you from here to there…” aaahhhh…first thought was “oh my gosh, I’m getting married in a few months and the wedding gown had short sleeves….” but my doctor did not stitch me on the outside, he made a straight line and butterflied me (stitches on inside) and I followed directions to the letter and did not remove the tape, I let them fall off (did take a while) and then I rubbed vitamin E on it twice a day. I only now have a a three inch scar that unless I point it out to you, you cant see it. Of course after the surgery and I got to see the area I freaked ha ha ha…

      My advise is to go get vitamen E in the gel caps and you can poke a little hole in it with a needle and use the gel inside to rub over your scar…it will take a little bit, but it will help heal it very nice.

  148. Zach says

    I had it done to my left arm in 2003 in the while in the USMC by Navy doctors.
    The pain is different, not gone.
    My scar looked pretty nasty for a couple years, and even though it’s a nice pink color now (as opposed to an angry purple), it’s still apparent.
    If you smoke, quit! It WILL cause your healing to slow and your results will not be optimal.
    I am now on methadone and oxycodone, and get regular nerve blocks (ever had someone stick a needle into a major nerve?); I don’t foresee it changing for the better.
    My pain management doctors words were “This (procedure) never works”.
    Knowing what I know now, I would just go straight to Lyrica and narcotics, but hindsight is always 20/20.
    Think real hard before getting this done.

    • Kath says


      I tried Lyrica first and all this did was make me dizzy, sick and fall over hurting my arms more. Funny you should mention “this procedure never works”, before the surgery my specialist did not tell me the risks or complications. I do remember however asking him what the success rate was like and he said “good”, but of course this is what they will tell you when they want to get two surgeries out of you. Unfortunately, the only people I know of who have had this surgery are in American, and me being in Australia, apart from this website, have felt isolated with no real information on rehabilitation, what to expect etc etc.

  149. Katie says

    hey all,
    i just came across this site and am so thankful i did. a few weeks ago my boyfriend and i were playing around and i fell and hurt my elbow. Ever since then, my pinky and ring fingers on my left hand have been extremely tingly/numb. This morning when I woke up my fingers were so swollen i almost couldnt get my ring off. I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow to see whats up. How long does it take the doctor to decide if you need surgery or not? I have done my research online and have tried a bunch of things to eleviate the compression but nothing has worked. Sorry for the long post, im just looking for answers. Thanks for reading and any comments would be appreciated!!

    • Stephanie says

      My surgeon would not do surgery for 6 months from the date of injury. This allowed all other internal brusing and swelling to heal prior to the surgery. By the time I had my surgery, 2 weeks ago, all other aspects of the injury had healed.

  150. me says

    Just an update. My long arm cast has been on for 2 weeks now and my and my arm is feeling pretty good. I have very little pain. I am using my arm alot. Shoveling snow etc. I still say the best way to heel is in a CAST. The reason being is you can’t move your arm or take off the cast. As I said before I had my right arm done and in a cast and it turned out great.

    • Stephanie says

      I would have to agree. I had a splint – which was great when the swelling started going down I was able to tighten it or losen if it was swelling and getting tight. On the same sense the splint was a pain. The side of my arm would hit the edge of the splint board and hurt. The splint just came off today and although my left arm is stif it feels better now that it is off the heavy, hard board that dug into my arm. At least with a cast it would be smooth on the inside and not have edges.

  151. Maria says

    On January 5, my husband had what his doctor called a transmuscular ulnar nerve transposition and carpal tunnel release at the same time. He was discharged with a splint. He has been complaining of numbness from below his wrist up into the palm of his hand and into his ring and pinky fingers. Today he returned for his post op visit, he told the doctor about the numbness and was told this isn’t abnormal, but it is bothersome to him. He wasn’t put in a cast or another splint but was told to wear his ‘night sling’ and carpal tunnel brace occasionally. My question…will the numbness ever go away?

  152. me says

    MARIA The numnbness will go away but it takes time. Tell your hubby not to use his arm too much when it is out of the splint. I had carpal tunnel done on my right 2 years ago and did not have a cast for it. It took almust a year for it it be normal. I had the ulnar nerve done on my right arm 3 months ago and was in a cast for 5 weeks and my right is great. Have your hubby tell the DOC he uses his hands alot and he would prefeer he can’t use it untill it heals. Have the doc put it in a long arm cast. I am proof it works. Read some of my pevious posts.

    • Maria says

      Me…thank you for your response. My husband said his hand feels like it’s dead, that’s how numb it is. Tonight he stated that he’s getting discouraged. He can move it and open and close his hand, but he’s the restless kind and insists on working up in his shop (We have a farm.) even though he probably shouldn’t be. He says he’s just supervising.

      He goes back to see the doctor in three weeks and starts PT on Friday. We were so positive his surgery would be a success but are waning some. Maybe it’s just too early to tell, and I keep telling him that. We’ll just keep praying for healing.

      • Kath says


        I believe you are expecting too much at this very early point, as you husband was only done on 5 January. I was told it was 3 months before I would feel some sort of improvement and 6 months when I could return to some sort of normality. All articles I have read on this surgery say that it is a long recovery time, although no one should compare themselves to others.

        Overall, it does take alot of time, patience, and even when feeling better no overdoing it. 3 weeks is certainly not a point at which I started to worry. I had both arms done in August and am still having problems, although I have been reassured in time this will settle. Also depends on how long you had it for before having the surgery done. I waited too long so had a scar build up which now also needs to heal.

  153. Nette says

    Oh oh now I’m worried! I’m getting a transpostion of right ulna nerve tomorrow and now I feel like cancelling it! My arm aches all the time and I always have pins and needlles in distal side of forarm and two ouside fingers…more frequent over the last year. Saw the doc in Novemeber and getting it done tomorrow. I’m not a private patient so I am amazed it’s getting down so soon, I thought the waititng list was longer. If I don’t get it down it will only cause more damage won’t it??

    • Maria says

      Yes, it’ll get worse from what I’ve read. I’m happy to report that my husband waited all day today to tell me he has feeling now in his ring finger and some in his pinky finger. We’re praying for more feeling further up…prayer works.

      Kath…thank you. Maybe we are expecting too much too soon, but it’s just that my husband works so much with his hands and uses so much arm strength in his daily routine on the farm that for him to be without it would be devastating to him. The only saving grace for him is that he’s right handed, and the surgery was on the left arm.

    • Kath says


      Never be turned off by what you read. Everyone is different, and it may take 12 months for complete recovery. I went into the surgery knowing it may not work, but anything was better than what I had as I was minus two arms. 6 months on and I get 1 day every three weeks where my hands are relatively happy and despite electric shock feelings in both arms, at least i can now write. I am a secretary that works 9 hour days with only 1/2 break for lunch, so my arms have been under a lot of strain. Better to just go ahead with the surgery and remember to take your time getting better and not expect too much too soon

  154. Lyn says

    I had a subQ transposition of the ular nerve in my right elbow in June of 2008. I still have no feeling in the ring and pinky finger’s the pain I am having unbearable. The doctor did an MRI and it showed a tear in the ulnar ligament, artifact of surgical material. What is the artifact of surgical material? Any need for alarm or is this what is causing the pain? I had suffered an injury when I fell on ice last year, I had a TFC tear in the right wrist and badly damaged the ulnar ligament in the right wrist. So I did have a bad injury.

    • nette says

      Thanks for the encouragment Kath. had my arm done and am in an above elbow cast for 2 weeks, then it comes off and the stitches come out. Doc reckons I’ll be back at work 2 weeks after that. I have a pretty physical job with lifting so I think that maybe two soon. It hurts a lot around the elbow where it was cut and the plaster itches a lot! But the fingers feel ok. Lyn does that mean a bit of suture material that they see on scan?

  155. me says

    My cast has been on now for 4 weeks and 90% of my pain is gone. I don’t have any tingling or numbness in my hand. I had submuscular trans and carpal tunnel on my left arm at the same time. I am very happy with the results. My cast will come off in a week or so. I still say the best way to heal is in a cast. Read other persons posts and most of them are having problems. I had submuscular trans done on my right arm in october and had a cast on for it. My right arm turned out great. I have no tingling or numbness at all. My inscion is sore at times but not bad. I have full range and lots of strength. My next surgery is going to be rotator cuff and I will ask the doc to put it in a cast.I have had 4 surgerys on it already and they only used a sling which I took off right a way. And I tore it each time. I am not good on keeping splints or slings on. I’ll bet most of you are the same way and take your splint off early or right a way. Let me know if you take your splints off early. I am curious.

  156. Becky says

    I fell and broke my arm in 3 places in October including my elbow. I have had constant pain, numbness, cold hand and inability to use my arm/hand. I have been in a sling since then. The doctor wanted to wait and see if it would heal. He decided today to do a PSSD test. I was shocked to find out that I could not feel the prongs at all. I saw her sticking me, I heard the alarm telling him it was hard enough, but I never felt it. Also, grip strength barely registered. I do not see the doctor until next Thursday, but I have an idea what is is going to say. Unfortunately, I have a connective tissue disease that causes the joints to be loose anyway and I am over 50 years old. I have already torn the rotator cuff twice on that same arm. I know I should not research the Internet as everyone is different, but I am a little concerned about hte success of the surgery. What is the “real” expected recovery time? Sounds like 5-6 weeks of splint or cast and then, what? Did you have physical therapy? I have a very stressful job that is really going into full gear over the next several months and work is really stressing about me being out. Sounds like 7-10 days and I should be back. I have a high pain tolerance usually so hopefully, that will not be too bad. I had a hysterectomy on Friday and was telecommuting on Monday and back in the office in a little less than 3 weeks. Of course that was almost 10 years ago so not sure how this will be. With everyone’s experience, did you have the PSSD test? How did you do and what did the doctor say after the test?

    • Kath says


      Are you having submuscular ulnar nerve transposition? It depends on what surgery you have regarding the recovery time and whether or how long you will be in a splint/cast. I have a high pain tolerance but had to be off work for 3 months unpaid before I could resume doing only light duties. I still am unable to do alot and was told it would be a full 12 months before I know how it all went.

  157. Stan says

    G’day i had the operation 18/04/08 at sportsmed SA (to everyone don’t go there it’s surgery area looked like a bad vets surgery). My op was due to a fall on 16/04/07 that fractured my radial head and steped it 2mm and also a partial disruption of the medial collateral ligament. It was also found that my ulnar nerve had subluxed out of its groove. I was told b4 the surgery there was a 1 in 20 chance of nerve damage from the OP. After the surgery the first thing i remember is the horrible pain i had in my thumb, I also found i had snaped the back cast put on my arm. Still to this day the back of my elbow painful when bumped the bottom of the palm of my hand and my thumb is numb and so is the side of my ring finger. My ROM went from -20 after the break to -50 after being sent back to work doing my old dutys back to -20 again 7 months after the OP. The only plus is now at least the ulnar nerve isn’t floating around causing me pain. But my arm still aches and i get a good pain when i hit the end of my ROM to fast. Grip test show 40 in left hand and 34 in right(not sure if it’s messured in PSI or KPA).

  158. Jamie says

    I’m so sad to hear that sooo many people are still having such pain so long after their surgeries. For those who dont know I am a massage therapist and had my subcutaneuos transposition on 12/2/08. I spent 10 days in an ace bandage/splint unremovable cast and then was supposed to spend 14 days in a splint that was only to be removed for PT exercises and bathing. I took that removable sucker off abt 5days early (still wore the sling if I went out in public) because it was making me CRAZY!!! I returned to work 6 wks later on Jan 13th and was told no deep tissues or lifting anything that caused me any pain for 2 wks and then to go for it. Although the surgeon originally told me 4 wks off, we agreed on 6 and when I went back for my release he asked me if I was sure I was ready to return. Luckily, the ecomony stinks and I haven’t had to do more than 4 &1/2 hrs of massage in any given day, or I would be in trouble. The incision is still pretty painful sometimes and its easy to over do it and have some elbow soreness. Definitley alot weaker than I used to be. The back of my elbow isn’t completely numb, but the sensation is decreased. I guess I’ve had a great experience because I have very little discomfort and all the numbenees and tingling is gone, and NONE of the pain I had before. I would do it again in a heartbeat over the pain I had before with my nerve subluxing over the epicondyle every time I bent my arm. I feel I will be 100% in the next 3-6 months. Kathy is right, you have to listen to your body, if its telling you your doing too much you are. And remeber it takes time to get back to the level you were at, I have to remind myself all the time not to expect too much too soon.

  159. me says

    I was just wondering how many of you take your splints or braces of early and are still having problems. The reason I ask is because I am a person who does and has alot of problems healing. This time the doc used a non removable cast and my arm turned out great. I’ve had 4 rotator cuff surgeries and took the brace off almost right away. Each time my rotator cuff was torn again. This time I will ask the doc to put my shoulder in a fiberglass cast.

    • Sheri says

      Everyone seems to be in casts for more then the few days I had. Granted being in a cast stinks but I slept better then I do now without it. It took the pressure off my elbow incision. One week after the surgery the staples and stitches came out. I was told I could go back to work after that with restrictions. One armed duties only til further notice. Went to work to show them the paperwork work from doc and they laid me off. Mine is a work comp issue.

  160. me says

    I was just wondering how many of you take your splints or braces of early and are still having problems. The reason I ask is because I am a person who does and has alot of problems healing. I’ve had 4 rotator cuff surgeries and took the brace off almost right away. Each time my rotator cuff was torn again. This time I will ask the doc to put my shoulder in a fiberglass cast.

  161. me says

    How many of you take your splints off early and are still having problems. I ask this because I am a person that does. I’ve had 4 rotator cuff surgeries and have torn it again each time. This time I will ask the doc to put it in a non removable cast.

  162. me says

    Sorry for all the posts. When I tried to post nothing happened so I tried again and ended up with multiple posts. Again I’m sorry.

  163. John C. Day says

    Had submuscular transposition and carpal tunnel surgery on my left arm Decemer 8th 2009. Just wore removable splint for four weeks after surgery. Have full use of the arm with no pain. Strength is limited but in time I hope to regain some of that. I’m scheduled to get the right arm done on the 28th Of January.

  164. Lindy B. says

    I am desperately trying to find out if ANYONE who has had a compressed ulnar nerve has my symptoms. I have been through the ringer the past 4 months trying to get dx’ed with SOMETHING so I can have relief. I have been to 2 orthopaedic docs and a neurologist. SO far, no relief.

    My symptoms started as tingling in my 4th and 5th fingers of my left hand. Namely when I was holding my arm up, say to talk on the phone. Let me add I am left handed as well. Which just adds to the problems. Within the next week or 2, I noticed tingling and numbess which radiated intermittently up to my elbow. If I propped my elbow up on a table (like bad table manners, ha) I could feel the shooting, searing, ,tingling “pain” from the elbow to my last two fingers. I googled this, and found cubital tunnel syndrome. Be it said that I DID break my left elbow about 4.5 years ago. So with that in mind, I went and saw the ortho who set my arm then. He dx’ed me with the ulnar nerve entrapment, and said he “doubted” it would be from my fall and subsequent break 4 years earlier. He told me to (basically) eat Aleve for the next few weeks to see if it helped. It did NOT help.

    About 2 weeks after that, I went at had an EMG and NCV testing done. Things just progressively got worse. I had normal results, according to the neurologist.(well I had mildly abnormal NCV results in my Guyon’s canal). He asked if I ever had neck pain, which I have, and he recommended at some point getting a cervical MRI to rule out cervical neuropathy. I brushed this off, until about 2 or 3 weeks later, the awful tingling/numbness/searing pain moved up into my triceps and underarm area. Then, it proceeded to go up into the base of my neck (say, in between the shoulder blade area). Tingling, all the time, just about, in one place or another along that path.

    A few weeks later, I followed up with the ortho, and told him I believed it was my NECK causing the problem. I had an MRI a week after that appointment, then another appointment with a second orthopedic doc who specialized in necks/backs. He said my MRI was FINE. My neck was FINE. I was speechless, b/c I almost hoped it WAS my neck. At least then, I’d have an answer, and frankly… probably an easier recovery. Let’s face it. So he put me on Elavil to help the ulnar nerve pain (that’s what it’s been dx’ed as) and after 4 days of that, I couldn’t keep my eyes open at work. I just got off it 2 nights ago, and tonight I’m taking my first dose of Lyrica.

    Let me add I’m only 30 years old, and I work as a registered nurse, and a church pianist as a second job. I NEED my hands, they are my livelihood. I am the mom of a 5 yr old and a 3 yr old. I am suffering, and I’m scared to have surgery on my elbow, because… I’m still not convinced that’s all that’s going on. Has anyone else with CTS/ulnar nerve entrapment had tingling ALL the way up the arm, into the armpit, and in the base of the neck? It’s like I can feel the whole nerve from top to bottom.

    I’m looking for ANY input at all. Thanks for reading this long entry.

    • Kath says


      I tried Lyrica prior to having my surgery and did nothing exept make me fall over and very sleepy. I have had surgery on both my ulnar nerves and continue to have “mysterious problems”. All my tests come back normal as well, so I understand the disappointment of a normal test. As you say, an answer, no matter what it is is better than no answer at all.

      I too need my hands for my career as I am a secretary/typist. I am now seeing a neurologist (yet again) this week. Have no suggestions on what it might be, but be warned, in the end if the doctors cannot find an answer, you will be dismissed as suffering from a pain syndrome. This has not happened to me, but from having typed up many many medical reports, doctors never like being wrong, or admitting they cannot find answers, so throw the problem back on to the patient. I see it time and time again. Sorry I can’t be of any real help but do know I understand completely your frustration. I too have problems holding the phone and subsequently now have a hands free phone.

    • Stephanie says

      Something I learned: 10% of people with Ulnar Nerve Entrapment have a normal EMG and NCV testing. I learned this because my results were normal but I had all other symptoms. The symptoms were getting increasingly worse, including lose of use of my pinky. I just had surgery 2 weeks ago and noticed significant improvement that night – I could move my pinky again.
      Don’t get me wrong the surgery hurt but the pain from the surgery was different than I had before. I could tell an immediate improvement/difference.

    • Dawn Knutson says

      Answering Lindy B: I had the surgery on both elbows 5 years ago, and yes, my pain was all over the place just like yours. From my wrists to my neck. It started in my back. Since it was in both arms, they thought there was a problem with my neck. I had both cubital and carpal symptoms in my left hand (I’m left handed.) A pinch in one place can cause problems along the whole nerve – google “double pinch syndrome.” Those were dark days – I will never again take for granted any day I have free of pain. You may have to go through the whole process of wearing splints, doing special exercises, and taking stronger meds – any of which may help. I kinda liked Neurontin… None of it helped me, but give it a try, because surgery is not fun. It isn’t always successful. Although I begged for relief, they wouldn’t do surgery until I began to lose strength and total feeling (dropping things.) It took about a year for the decision to be made. It was extremely frustrating, and boy did I suffer, but I now know it’s better to hold off if you can and try to resolve the problem without surgery. Lifestyle changes. If the pain persists, you just have to keep going back to the doctor. They told me it may take more surgery later on my left wrist. I was really lucky that the first time was the charm. It took about two years for the nerve symptoms to settle down. I have a different kind of post surgical pain – even now. Lifting hurts in my forearms where the muscles were released. When I put on deodorant, I feel a cold wetness in my right elbow. I have a few numb spots, about quarter sized. I suppose things will never be like they were… None of that compares to the agony I was in before the surgery. I still get carpal tunnel symptoms in my left wrist, but no pain – at least not enough to do anything about. I have learned to RESPECT my body and not ABUSE it.

  165. Barbara says

    Hi There, I am getting ready to have an ulnar nerve transposition on my left elbow. In 2002 I had an ulnar nerve transposition done on my right elbow. That elbow actually had the nerve sitting on the bone like a rubber band. This time I have constant tingling and before I went to the ortho surgeon suspected that the same thing happened except that this time I cannot see the nerve. I can say that 7 years after the first surgery my life is virtually normal (except now the left elbow is bad). I work out and have no problems and don’t even think much about that surgery, it took a while to regain all my strength but other than the weird sensation around the elbow area everything is fine. I was told at the time that this could happen to my left arm but kind of blew it off thinking it happened to the right elbow because it was my dominant arm. I now know that the reason this happened to me is because my arms are too long for the nerve and I can hyper-extend. So I guess my physiological make-up is to blame. I just want those of you who have recently had this surgery or those of you who have to have it to know that you can live a normal life. I am a little nervous about this surgery as anyone would be going into any surgery but I have complete faith in what the final result will be and feel that this is the only solution. I suppose back in the old days when this surgery was nonexistent people had to live with losing use of their arm little by little so I am happy that medicine has taken us this far.

    • Kath says


      When you say it took about 2 years for nerve pain to settle, what did you mean. This is a bit encouraging because at the 6 month mark I have still have huge amounts of problems and when they tell me it could be 12 months I often think they are just saying this to shut me up or simply because they are clueless. Did you continue to get “electric shock” pains in your forearm and fingers?

  166. Roger says

    I found this website by accident, I am going to have surgery on my right elbow in March. After reading all the articles, it all looks and reads very scary. My partner said get it done as it can’ t get any worse! My right hand is usually very cold and I can not straighten my fingers fully. I am looking to try some of the exercises posted on other websites to see if they bring back some feeling. I do have problems trying to hold and grip things.

  167. me says

    I got my left arm out of my cast on Monday 1-2-2009. It was in a fiberglass long arm cast from my wrist to shoulder for 5 weeks. I already have full range and most of my strenght back. I do have some pain in the elbow from the inscion. Also my wrist is sore. Other than that I am very happy with the surgery. I still say the best way to heal is in a cast. I had both arms done and they both turned out great.

  168. Tom says

    I had this surgery done on my left arm on Jan 28 and was back to work on Friday the 30th. My doctor did not tell me not to go back to work and I did not ask. I have no splint or cast, just alot of padding and an ace bandage. He did script 40 vicadin and antibiotics.
    My fingers are still a little numb and if I move my elbow a certain way or to fast I see stars.
    Maybe I should call the doctor and ask if I should be doing the things I am doing.

    Thanks Guys

  169. liv says


    i had a left ulnar nerve decompression and transposition done on the 3rd of feb 09.
    i injured myself practically a year ago to the date of the surgery, and it took about 7 months to get the diagnosis, as specialists thought it was something in my neck.
    i had alot of pain in my arm, esp. little and ring fingers.

    the surgery went well, not too much pain, but im still incredably tired. the only thing im worried about is that the whole left side of my arm from elbow to wrist is now numb, but my fingers are fine.

    has anyone else had symptoms like this afterwards?

  170. Sondra says


    I have had very similar symptoms as you. I have terrible neck pain that coincides with my arm and hand symptoms. I can trace the nerve path right up my arm, armpit, shoulder blade and neck. It’s all related. I had a brain MRI that was fine. I had a neck X-ray and it did indicate one small buldging disk, but was told it should not be the problem. I had the nerve conduction and electrical tests done 18 months ago and was diagnosed with ulnar entrapment only at the elbows (despite the neck pain and hand pain, etc). I had simple nerve releases done on both elbows 18 months ago. It relieved some of the pain, which helped even the neck, but did not improve the neuropathy or function.

    I was told nerves heal at the rate of one inch per month, and you measure from the tip of your finger to your elbow, and however many inches is how many months it takes to heal. Initially I felt I was making progress, mainly because the pain had decreased. However, I was not seeing any improvement in coordination of hands, and still had that “heavy arm” “limp arm” neuropathy all the time. Because of my job (court reporter), I am more keen to the coordination and delay problems. I got tired of waiting and getting worse, so after 14 months I went back and got re-tested, and sure enough, NO improvement at all in the entrapment numbers. My neuro basically told me to “quit your job,” which is not an option for me. So I’m changing neuros to get another opinion. I sure don’t look forward to nor do I want another surgery, but I also don’t want my muscles to continue to atrophy, which is apparently what they are doing. My forearms are getting very skinny and weak. Exercise just kills me and makes my symptoms worse. Therapy did not work either! It’s frustrating. Good luck with your problem…hope you find some answers and some help! SH

    • Kath says


      Glad to see your reply, not because of your misfortunes but because it makes me feel better that others have the same sort of symptoms/problems. It is always easy for a doctor to just say “quite your job”, I was told the same thing when things weren’t improving. I am a secretary and work non stop 8-9 hours a day constant typing so my arms a very unhappy, as is my neck, shoulders arms etc. I too can follow the course of the nerve up the arm to the armpit, but I have been told armpit pain is not possible.

      I also find that exercise, be it running or anything physical makes me hurt more. As soon as I start running/exercise bike (without hands), I get extremely bad stiffness pain in my thumbs. On cooling down my arms send electric shocks up and down the forearm. Have seen several neurologist with no results. Like you also, I now have very reduced muscle tone in both my arms – prior to the surgery I use to be able to swim over 100 laps of a 50m pool each day, now I cannot get my arms above my head due to torn tendons.

      Am now paying for a personal training to see if he can strengthen my arms and then maybe when I have some stability back things might improve. At present I regularly get stiff necks which even the physio has trouble releasing.

      • Barbara says

        I to had to quit my job. Pain is back after 2 years and 2 surgeries. Now I am told that if I keep going as is that I may loose the use of my arm in 5 to 7 years. i only have one arm as it is.

  171. Barbara says

    Had the surgery done 2x both elbow and wrist. It has been 2years and if you use your arm alot it comes back now it is even worse. No cure !!!

  172. Barbara says

    Well I just had my left elbow done on Wednesday February 11 and this time it was a horrible experience with regards to the pain when I woke up in recovery. they kept shooting my IV with different meds including Morphine which made me vomit and hallucinate all the way home from the surgicenter…The only thing I can figure is that this time the surgeon had to “fish” for the nerve because it was entrapped…the right elbow nerve was sitting on the bone prior to surgery and afterward didn’t seem this bad…and this time I have a partial cast, last time was just a splint…Has anyone else experienced anything similar? I still feel so nauseous and tired..I was told that elbow surgery is one of the most painful ortho surgeries you can get and yet I had such different reactions to each arm with the right elbow being so much easier…then again I was 7 years younger…any thoughts or input is appreciated….

    • Kath says


      I am a bit confused and you may be able to help me. I had both arms done 2 weeks apart in August. I questioned my specialised whether it could come back again as I had heard this from others on this website, and said it could not. Thing is, I don’t trust him. What is it that had to be redone? Did the nerve which was relocated during your surgery relocate itself after the surgery? It is important that I find this out as I returned to work after 3 months and am working 9 hours a day doing the same repetitive stuff that caused the problem in the first place. Also, as I am an athlete it is important I know what I can do so as not to have this problem come back years from now.

      I was very specific to him that I was worried it may come back as I got back into sport too soon afterwards and he said this was not possible. A neurologist told me the same thing. I specifically questioned how they new the nerve was happy to stay in its new location and they told me years of studying had proven that the surgery worked.

  173. John Myatt says

    Had surgery on my left ulnar nerve on Friday 13th Feb 2009,I had the nerve transposed as nerve conduction studies stated that I had lost 80% of the nerve function. I had wasting of the hand and also numbness in my ring and little finger, the little finger was slightly curled and abducted from the rest of my hand. It’s now 2 days since surgery an things are comfortable, early signs are good as my little finger is no longer abducted or bent and i can straighten it out and bring it almost in line with my other fingers. I want to run before i can walk but understand the implications of doing too much too soon. I was told post op by my surgeon that I had no chance of returning to my part time firefighter duties. I’m determined to prove him wrong, has anybody else suffered 80% damage to there nerve and made a near full recovery? oh i still have numbess/ tingling in my ring and small finger but when i wake during the middle of the night after rest the tingling almost dissapears only to return when I become active.

  174. yasmin says

    i found this site by accident and after reading through have found it rather useful, i am due to have my first surgery on my left arm in 2 weeks and will then await for my second for my right arm, they are doin my left 1st as it is a lot worse right at the minute, i have been told that they are going to use a nerve block and reading someone elses comments above it sounds painful, is it as painful as it sounds and do they not numb this before they do it if is that bad ???
    i have had this problem for just under a year now and did have doubts about having the surgery to begin with, i am a single mum with a 5 yr old, but my left arm has become so bad that i can barely use it anymore so i was really left with no other choice but to have it.

    • Shaunte says

      I have good days and bad days…there are days where my “normal” strength can last all day…but then there are days when I feel like I am carry a stump on the side of my body. I know my brain is telling my hand “to pick up that towel or open that bag of chips”, but my hand & arm act like a teeneager and takes it own sweet time. And my fingers keep trying to grip and they just don’t seem to be able to get the “pressure” needed.

      I am so glad I found this site. It makes me feel not so lost. I realize that it’s not me that there is a problem with, it is our injury.

      The thing that gets me the most, I loved my doctor, thought he was the greatest. But he NEVER told me there would be issues. I really thought that once the surgery was done I would be back to normal. I read where everyone had some kind of therapy, mine told me none at all. A lot of you were not back to work right away…I only was told to wait the week out…had surgery on a Friday and was back to work a week after the following Monday…just one week.

      The thing is I really don’t know what’s wrong with me. I was told that my nerve was just “cut off” by my elbow…which would explain all the issues I was dealing with…but if that was all it was and my nerve was taken out of there, then why am I still having issues? Why do I still have the pain?

      Something else…is anyone have issues with the cold weather. I’m in Florida, so don’t get that much, but this year we had a few good cold days and my pinky is killing me. I feel like it is being stuck in side of ice cold water and it just throbs. Anyone else with this issue? What have you done to help? I keep it covered and it is only my pinky, no other fingers. I did a test on my other hand to see if it was just the cold, but nope, just that pinky.

  175. Alex says

    Hello, I found this site by accident. I was reading through comments and I am now worried. I’m having surgery on Feb 26th, 2009. I’m having carpal tunnel release (endoscopic) and forgive me I can’t recall what it is called, but the doctor is going in my elbow to relieve the nerve but NOT moving it to the side. He says the first time through he wants to avoid moving it and see if that helps. I’m a 20 yr old male, who got hurt at work by a 185lb steel cylinder. My former supervisor got me hurt, he had been trying to get me fired as it was. I’m currently in an elbow pad and a wrist brace. I have my sisters big wedding in exactly 1 month. The doctor says I will have a full recovery by 6 weeks, if all goes well. I am scared I will not be able to do anything leading up and during the wedding. I just want the pain to stop, and I can no longer wait out the results to see if it goes away on it’s own. I was hurt on 10-2-08 by the way. Sorry it is very late (and my birthday at that) and it is very difficult for my to type and focus on proper sentences.

    Any advice?

  176. Shaunte says

    Hello to all!
    This is going to be long, bear with me, but I want to give my whole history so everyone will understand.
    In December 2004, at a theme park, had my arm on the arm rest watching the show. At the end of the show, for dramatic effect, the chair’s back legs lift up a couple of inches and slams back down. Well as you can guess, with my arm on the arm rest, I got a bad “bump”. Was doubled over with the pain. Ended up in the ER that night, was told by ER doctor that I had a bruised nerve. Was told that it would take time to heal and that I just had to deal with it. Was dealing with throbbing pain that ran from elbow to wrist for a couple of months, but almost immediately I had a numbness that ran from wrist down to both my ring and pinky finger. Doctor did not wrap it in bandage, or give me a sling, just sent me home with anti-inflammatory.
    Dealt with pain for a few months and gradually it subsided. Had the numbness still in pinky finger and ring finer gradually lessened. Became a way of life, just dealt with it, didn’t realize at the time that I had started to favor the arm and wasn’t using it.
    About half a year goes by and one morning woke up with a crick in my elbow. Figured I had slept on it wrong and after a couple of hours it went away. Month goes by, happens again…does this about 2 or 3 times a week. Thinking I am at fault I try to find different ways to sleep. Then it starts with when I wake up with the crick, the pain starts throbbing down my whole arm and doesn’t stop for a day. I experience swelling, dull throbs. Try taking ibuprofen, nothing really helps. Now starts the shooting pain down my arm at night. Feels like a tooth ache with it being real sharp. I called it my zapping. Would last any where from 15 minutes to 2 or 3 hours. Nothing helps. Now this is all going on over about a 6 to 8 month period. My friend in the mean time starts commenting on it saying that she notices that I have started tucking my arm and was not using it. Of course I was advised to go to the doctor. Didn’t have insurance and doctor visits were out of the question…time goes by and it starts happening every day. The swelling, throbbing, shooting pains. Can’t put my arm down, can’t lay it down, can’t let it hang by my side. I actually walked around with my arm tucked up next to my chest.
    Luckily get a new job, got insurance, wahoo…but had to wait for it to kick in. So a few more months go by and I am now at a point if I’m lucky to get maybe 2 or 3 hours straight sleep. Sitting too long causes pain. I’m a secretary so needless to say typing becomes a chore and the pinky is still numb. I don’t realize this is happening until friend points out that I have developed this nervous tick where I am rubbing my thumb against my pinky. Don’t even realize I am doing this.
    Fast forward to January 2007 and I get up on a Sunday morning and the swelling and pain are pretty bad…treat myself with ibuprofen and try to take it easy. Monday, still in same condition. Tuesday morning I can’t take it anymore and go to the walk-in clinic. Spoke to the doctor, tell him about the crick and etc. when he asks me if I had fallen or had a blow to the arm. Told him no, not recently. He then states “how about in the last couple of years”, this is when I remember the incident at the theme park. He says that’s it…you have a bruised nerve. I tell him that that is what the other doctor said, etc. He says I have to go to a specialist now and refers me to an orthopedic. Meet with the orthopedic (thank God for insurance), tell him symptoms and story of injury and he knows exactly what it is, Ulna Nerve Neuropathy. Explains to me about nerve being cut off in the elbow, etc. Runs tests on me to make sure nerve not too messed up. Tries to treat me with nerve pills, to try and “deaden” the pain. Pills only work for about 15 minutes and make a zombie out of me. He then states only option is surgery. Does the nerve transposition surgery on 3/27/07 and I when I wake up I had feeling in my pinky. Wahoo…recovery was rough, couldn’t take the pain pills, had me in a sling for two weeks with the cast thingy on. Removes the cast and I’m thrilled over everything. Have major sensitivity when laying arm down but other than that I am great. I’m thinking every thing is just great.
    Three months down the road still can’t lay my arm down and I have the throbbing pain back. Was told that it has to grow, etc…yada yada…and to give it time.
    Well it is now February 2009, almost 2 years after surgery and I am right back to where I was before. Numbness in pinky comes and goes. Can not in any way shape or form have any pressure on my arm, ex: laying it on arm rest of chairs, sleeping in bed have to have it tucked up next to me or straight out and laying face up. And God forbid someone actually touches it. I can’t carry my purse on that arm (it’s my left and I am a righty) because it knocks it. And oh my gosh, if it gets jarred or banged in any way I am in agony for days, weeks. Pain pills don’t help, they just dull my brain. Still drop things, swollen, etc. Only thing different now is I don’t get the “zaps” as often running down my arm and it isn’t as constant as it was right before the surgery.
    Had lost my other job because of the whole doctor appointments and surgery and has taken a year to find a new one (bad economy) so I don’t have insurance again…and called the specialists and it is $185 visit….
    Someone help!!! Tell me it will eventually get better. Tell me about things I can do to take away the pain. I swear I’m at a point that when I do eventually get to get to the doctors I’m telling him to just cut the nerve off. I can’t take this and I can’t live like this the rest of my life.
    Sorry this was long, but I wanted to explain all that I was dealing with so that if there is someone out there that had the same experience maybe they could help me or at least whine with me. Cause unless you are dealing with this you never know…you try and explain it to someone.

    • Kath says


      I cannot help you but will gladly whine with you. I too am a secretary and returned to work a little under 3 months after having both arms done. Like you, at first after the surgery I thought it had all worked and was so excited, but gradually 6 months on extreme pain down arm, elbow and takes out shoulder. Surgeon told me typing 9 hours a day straight in no way could affect me. Decided to take my treatment to a sports physician (surgeon did not like this, said I was getting too many people involved). Numbness also coming back down side of arm, little finger, particularly when typing, using mouse.

      I involved sports physician because 4 weeks into the surgery I pulled a tendon in one arm and a few months later, did the same to the other arm. Surgeon said there was no need to have any therapy. However, sports physician immediately referred me off for therapy saying 6 months without the use of my shoulders and no therapy was too long. Turns out I have impingement in my shoulders now and subluxation.

      At times my right arm aches all day like I have permanently hit the funny bone. Would rather have prosthetic arms then what I have been left with. So yes Shaunte I know exactly where you are coming from. Personally, working in a hospital and all, orthopaedics just like to process patients and do not worry about aftercare. To say typing in no way could be bothering my arms is the biggest load of crap. Don’t know if any of you have seen the movie “The Doctor” with William Hurt, but basically it sends the message, that unless a doctor has had the same illness/injury himself, he knows not what it is like and has no apathy.

      • Shaunte says

        Thanks for the response!! The thing is I still don’t know what I am dealing with. How did you get this problem? My doctor told me that when my arm got hit, my elbow opened and the nerve slipped inside. That was it, so with the surgery and the moving of the nerve it should have taken care of all of this…but I seem to be right back to where I was before.

        And every one else is talking about carpal tunnel…I don’t know if that’s an issue…should it be? I know my right arm (the uninjured one) gets achy, but I think that is just because it is doing majority of the work now.

        And to everyone else out there…how did you get into this postition? What was your injury, how did it happen?

        • Kath says


          I constantly ask the same question. If the nerve has been moved, and this was supposedly the problem, then why does it reoccure. I have asked this question throughout this forum when people have said that have had to have the surgery redone years later because they were overusing their arms. I have asked several specialised, neurologist, sports physicians, orthopaedic surgeons etc and they all say that once the nerve is moved out of harms way, it should no longer now or every be an issue. Personally, I do not think the specialists can say 100%. Who was it that first decided the nerve would be happy in its new position? And who is to say it won’t jump out of its new site?

          Regarding the carpal tunnel, don’t worry about this, I was told this is a separate issue. I have had symptoms only after the surgery typical of carpal tunnel, but I was told this was only because the nerves take a long time to settle down and tend to replicate carpal tunnel symptoms. With me, I was told that my nerves were flapping around probably for many years and it took a combination of things: age, recurrent heavy repetitive moving of files (over 10,000), combined with stressful events which triggered it all. Sometimes it can be something you have done many years before, and it takes a particular event to trigger it. Regarding my subsequent shoulder problems following the surgery, again I have been told was possibly always a problem and a chain of events triggered it to suddenly malfunction along with my elbow and wrist.

          I have also been told I have osteoarthritis and am currently trying a very strong arthritis drug to see if this helps settle some of my problems. It seems to have helped, although definitely when there is rain around (and in Australia, lately we have had a lot of this), I almost climb up the wall with pain. Once the rain disappears, things settle down somewhat, although not entirely. Prior to this surgery I specifically asked the surgeon what the success rate of this surgery was, and he said it was good. From what I have since learned, success rate is not so good. All I can say is “hang in there” and hopefully more will be learned about this type of injury and surgery and improvements made.

  177. Navy says

    This surgery is great. I have had it done on both elbows and I am only 19. I had a surgeon at NNMC do it the second time and she did a fantastic job. There was minimal bruising and she had me doing AROM about a week after surgery. My pain is gone and I am back to doing pushups and pullups normally–1.5 months after surgery. The key is finding the right doctor.

    • Kath says

      Right doctor or not, if it was submuscular ulnar nerve transposition I have been told by many neurologists, plastic surgeons and orthopaedic surgeons that one should not be doing too much initially. In particular, for the first 6 weeks most have either a splint or cast in place to prevent over movement. Depending on how long you had the injury prior to having the surgery is what makes the difference in recovery time. I have been told numerous times that improvements are not seen day by day but rather month by month and full recovery could take from anywhere from 12 to 24 months. I was told I would have to wait 3 months before I could even attempt any exercise or return to work. Extent of surgery and how long you had it for prior to surgery and age are all the big factors in recovery from this surgery. There are also different variations of the surgery.

  178. me says

    I had both my arms done and they were in full casts for 5 weeks. The docs do not want you using the arm early. My doc knows that I don’t like to waer splints so he did the casts. My arms turned out great. Yes I have some pain but no more tingling in the hands. I also had carpal tunnel release 4 years ago on my right hand and it took a year for the pain to go away. I was getting upset with the doc but he said just wait. The pain from the nerve surgery to the elbows he said will take about 6 months. He has always been right. I have had over 30 different surgeries so I know what pain is and healing time. I am having my 5th rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder March 24th.

  179. me 1 says

    I had both my arms done and they were in casts for 5 weeks. The docs do not want you using the arm early. My doc knows that I don’t like to waer splints so he did the casts. My arms turned out great. Yes I have some pain but no more tingling in the hands. I also had carpal tunnel release 4 years ago on my right hand and it took a year for the pain to go away. I was getting upset with the doc but he said just wait. The pain from the nerve surgery to the elbows he said will take about 6 months. He has always been right. I have had over 30 different surgeries so I know what pain is and healing time. I am having my 5th rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder March 24th.

  180. me says

    Sorry for the double posts. My computor does not always let me know it sent the message so I send it again and again till I get a response telling me it was sent.

  181. ben says

    Iam a golf pro in Australia and just had left elbow subcutaneous ulnar transposition Feb 25th, just wondering if anyone is back to playing golf after surgery. They say i can start rehab in one month from now and should be playing in one more month. I have full use of fingers with no numbness but elbow and incision are quite sore but have only been out of half cast for 1 day. They moved the nerve at 7 points and had to make a longer incision up the arm than usual as i had a lot of compression from 25 years of hitting a ball. All is great so farand exactly as my surgeon had advised but im extremley worried about strength and playing again.

    • Kath says


      Don’t have an answer to your question as I am not a golf player, but I do live in Australia. Do you mind if I ask who did your surgery? I am in New South Wales.

      • ben says

        Doron Sher in Randwick he was reccomended by my sports doctor who i trust, as i have had other surgeries and have seen him many times. He has been very professional and has done a very good job so far.

        • Kath says

          Thanks Ben

          I work at Concord Hospital. Doron Sher is the head Orthopaedic there.

          cheers and all the best

  182. Kath says


    I want to thank you for setting up this site which has received numerous hits. To me it has been like a support group, the same support one should expect from the doctors but does not get. Before and after the surgery to both arms I was given very little information on what I could expect, what I could do etc etc.

    Although doctors frown upon people searching the net for medical information, one needs to get information from somewhere, so if they will not provide it, it is only natural we will seek help elsewhere. What your site has shown is that more informed information to patients is needed regarding this type of surgery. Thanks for such a wonderful topic!

  183. Allan says

    Hi all

    About five weeks ago I flicked my left arm back over my head in a throwing motion. This was due to the ulnar nerve giving me a drawing sensation in my left bicep/tricep. Anyway – I did this one night (I had done the same thing before with no problems) and my whole arm went numb. It settled and now I have localised pain in my elbow and some ‘sensations’ in my left hand pinkie and ring finger, which tends to flucuate in intensity.

    At the same time I woke up one night with my pinkie and ring finger on my right hand numb – I must have slept on it – and I did the same again on another night. Since then I have pain in my right elbow and up my right arm between the bicep and tricep.

    I have no numbness or loss of strenght or muscle wasting as yet.

    So far I’ve seen an orthopedic surgeon who says I have mild CuTS. He reckons to try conservative treatment for 3 months which I am…however I read so much about increasing you chances of recovery by getting it corrected early VERSUS dont have surgery at all.

    What should I do? Give it 3 to 6 months and see if it goes away or nag the medical people for surgery? I have requested nerve conduction tests etc. All these posts are great but advice/experience is so varied I dont know what to do for the best.

  184. Bailey says

    I am now five weeks post ulna nerve subcutaneous transposition, and absolutely amazed on how much better I am. I do have a two inch numb spot on my elbow and my pinkie and palm of my hand is numb but I have been told that it will be better in a couple months.

    After surgery I had no splint/cast, just dressing with a tensor for two weeks with no limitation on range of motion. Sutures were removed two weeks postop and straight into physio, I am now working with a personal trainer and managing to use weights (20 -25 pounds) which for me is something I haven’t been able to do for four years. I only find that my left arm (the surgery side) is much weaker still and prob will be for a while, but now I can get on with my life and get back into shape.

    It took me over four years after a car accident to get someone to do this surgery – I wish I had been more demanding in the beginning!

    • Sherry says

      Good Luck on your recovery.I am having my left one done on wednesday and the right one at a later date.I will not be having a cast either just a bandage for three days.Did you have a local or general anesthetic.I am having freezing.I was wondering if you had the same? Thanks Sherry

  185. Rhonda says

    I had ulnar nerve transposition surgery about a month ago. I am still bruised slightly, but my incision scar is very clean. I am currently doing physical therapy to get my mobility back. I really did not know what to expect after the surgery, but a month later I am using the arm with close to normal function. I still swell and am expierencing pain, but every day gets a little better. I would recommend to anyone requiring the surgery not to have it done in the winter because the cold and and the act of shivering added to the pain that was expected. Would I do the other elbow? I am not sure if I would unless the elbow was driving me insane. It is a pretty intense expierence-your other arm has to become the dominant arm and you figure out real quick how to make it compensate for the other. Also, pain killers are a must.

  186. precious says

    had ulnar nerve op a week today and so far pain wise not as bad as some on website have said. my main problem at the moment is at nights my arm gets
    hot, itchy and red with tiny lumps and feels very uncomfortable. has anyone else had this. it also affects my non-surgery arm?? weird help anyone?

    • Kath says


      Thank you very much for this. Prior to the surgery, I had both arms done, I was having hot itchy arms with tiny lumps on my arms and shoulders. It comes on as soon as I go to bed each night, what is worse I cannot scratch it because this only makes it worse/prickly. After the surgery in the initial stages when the surgery seemed to have worked it disappeared, only to return when problems with my arms reoccured. Mentioned to doctors/specialist, but of course…it’s my imagination! This is why I like this site, it is good to know sometimes that others are experiencing the same sort of weird symptoms which doctors dismiss as not possible. Try icepacks, this gives me temporary relief, although once the icepack turns warm it comes back again, but at least it permits some sleep.

      • LeAnn says

        Hey, you know, I got itchy red raised lumpy bumps, sometimes not raised, but just a red rash dotty all over and itchy but AFTER my surgery. I do have allergies to latex, etc. I’m just wondering what you are wearing on your arms, latex is present in ACE wraps and many other things including bandages, and people can have reactions to adhesives in tapes, steri-strips or even the sutures. So, what are you wearing on your arms? Could that be the cause? Anyway, I just took Benadryl for the first few days 1 tab – 2 tabs a day, and it kept it under control. Now that the stitches are almost completely absorbed and the steri-strips are off and I don’t have to wear the ACE wraps, my skin is smooth on my arms with very few if any red dots. It’s hard to tell what the cause of allergic reaction was.

  187. Kathleen Davis says

    I had my Ulnar Nerve Transposition Surgery in July of 07. Unfortuntely, My hand and arm got worse after surgery. I now have tingling in my hand all the time. My elbow is numb and i am pain all the time. My only option is to have another surgery which I am afraid to do. Is there any other options for me???

    • Kelly says


      I had the decompression surgery Oct 08 and now I am going for the transpostion in two weeks. I have to say that I am scared because the first surgery was unsuccessful. I lost motor skill in parts of my hand that were slightly stronger prior. My main issue is pain in the elbow, upper, and forearm along with discomfort in my fingers. My forearm has actually shrunk in size since a car accident in 12/07.

      My pain post op of the decompression was not that bad as long as I did not have too much pressure on it. I actually was sent home with a soft cast for two weeks, which I felt as tough caused a lot of my pain. I am hoping that after getting my bone shaved and all of my soft tissue removed that this surgery will be easier.

      Reading others stories is giving me insight to what to expect.

  188. Terri says

    I had my Ulnar Nerve Transposition Surgery on March 11, 2009 and it probably was swollen but the Dr. had a half cast on it so that I could not see it. Is that normal? And I had no scheduled visits to him till March 23, 2009. I was glad that it did not start to smell. But I was wondering if I am suppose to notice a difference by now? It is still numb and the thing is it feels worst now than before the surgery. I know that it is still swollen but I expected some relief. The stitches look great but the pain is worse now than before. I had the numbness in my pinky and ring finger and that side of my palm and some of my left arm since 08/06. They did carpal tunnel surgery on it and the only thing that helped was the steroids that they gave me for that. The carpal tunnel pain(?) was horrible but now that pain is back. I bravely told him that I didn’t need more pain relievers but I may have to take that comment back.

    • Kath says

      There is no such thing as immediate relief, especially if it was “sub-muscular” transposition. I am 6 months on and have been told it is not assessed on a day by day recovery, but rather month by month. I got told I had to wait until 12 months before I would feel any significant relief.

  189. Monica says

    I just had my surgery on Tues Mar 24, so I am only two days into it. I had virtually no feeling at all in my fingers, and the palm on that side. I know things will get better, as I already have tingling in the fingers and palm. I know the nerve was not severed….I can move everything. The cast stays for 2 weeks, and then followup. Meds are a must…and keep on the pain…my doc told me 18 months for full recovery….looking forward to it…

  190. dan says

    I had sub-muscular ulnar surgery 2/18/09. I expected to be further along in healing by now. The incision is healed but very sore and the area where the muscle was cut and resewn is also sore. The skin at my elbow is very tender and just having my clothes rub against it is very irritating. My doctor told me that I would be able to start lifitng weights starting at 4 – 6 weeks which is coming up. I spoke to him last week about the pain I still have and he stated that it could be several months before the elbow area heals more thoroughly. Considering that I could not lift weights or play golf prior to the surgery I can only hope that the surgery will eventually result in some permanent relief that allows me to do these things again.

  191. Lori says

    I have been told that I need surgery to correct my ulnar nerve. My problem only started 6 wks ago and I already have severe wasting and loss of movement. If I have the surgery, how long does it take just to recover period? I am nervous.

    • Kath says


      There is no set period, plus it depends upon what type of ulnear nerve surgery you are talking about. I had submuscular ulnar nerve transposition to both arms, and 8 months on I am still having alot of problems which I have been told is normal as nerves take a long time to heal. Normally if the problem has not been going on for too long they try to resolve the problem without surgery. Depends on the doctor, some are butchers and love to jump at the chance of surgery, but they are not so good picking up the pieces after surgery when things are delayed.

  192. LeAnn says

    Hi, I just had medial epicondylectomy and ulnar nerve transposition in right arm, and lateral epicondylectomy in left arm, on 4/14/09. (It wasn’t my idea to have both done at the same time.) I just wanted to report that my right arm is doing great, considering, and I can actually use it, but the left hurt way more and is not recovering as well or as fast. I am very grateful for your site and the pictures so that I knew what I would look like ***after surgery*** and know a little of what to expect. The first 24 hours is rough and it seems things get increasingly better every day after that. Thanks for your help and everyone’s comments about their surgeries!

  193. me says

    To anyone who is having ulnar nerve sub-muscular trans. I still recomend you have the doc put the arm in a cast. I had my right arm done OCT-2008 and my left arm done DEC-2008. I had both arms in a long fiberglass cast from shoulder to fingers for 5-6 weeks. Both arms are doing great. I have full range and motion. I also have no pain. The incision is a little tender but this does take time to come back. I just had rotator cuff surgery on my right arm March-26-2009. My rihgt arm is not doing that well from this surgery. But my elbow is great.

  194. JennTheMermaid says

    Hello everyone,

    I have just been scheduled for ulnar nerve transposition surgery on Monday, May 11 2009.

    I am getting pretty nervous. Doing research for the past few weeks on this. This site has been really helpful as to what I can expect.

    The concerns I have that I can’t find anyone to address are these:

    I’m a girl. How the hell will I put on my bra?!! lol
    I’m a girl. How will I put my hair in a ponytail?

    I guess I’m going to go shopping for some track suits that I can pull up with one hand.

    I would like to be as prepared as I can for when I come home (I’ll have my boyfriend cooking and taking care of me), unforseen things that I may need to know. I’m scared of losing my arm for a month!

    If anyone has some post-op or pre-op tips to make life easier with one hand, I’d greatly appreciate it! So would everyone else, I’m sure :)



    • lib says

      youll need help with hair and bra.
      what procedure are you having? subq or sub muscular?
      i had sub q 5 weeks ago, could do hair and bra by 2 weeks.

    • Monica says

      I got 3 inches cut off my hair the night before my 4/21/09 surgery – to make my hubby have a more reasonable chance of getting it up because there’s no way to make a 1 handed ponytail My angst has been with my cast, showers/baths have only been ever other day in these 2 weeks. Tomorrow this one is removed and a new cat put on….oh I’d love to go home for a long shower and to wash / condition my hair :)

      bras though – go strapless and put it on backwards then turn it…. that’s all i can do frankly. I wish you luck and tomorrow i’ll find out at my first post op appt my “next step” — more strapless bras in my future I fear :)

  195. lib says

    for those of you post op…..when does the hand pain start to get better?
    i am 5 weeks out left sub q……the finger numbness is just starting to feel like its trying to get better.

  196. Lisa says

    I am having ulnar nerve transposition done this afternoon….I’ll keep ya posted on my recovery…thanks for the posts..I now know what Im in for. I just hope the numbness in my ring finger and pain will go away..and stop waking me up in the middle of the night.

  197. Lisa says

    Oh and can someone tell me…..how am I supposed to shave…with my left hand?? Very carefully I guess…ugggggg

  198. me says

    To all of you having surgery for the nerve Ask the doc for a cast. This is the best way to heal and there is no pain when it is in a cast. The reason I say cast is because you can’t take off the cast early and do damage. I am not good with keeping splints on and have damaged other surgeries I’ve had. I had a cast on both arms and they healed great.

  199. me says

    Kath, Do you still monitor this site?. Have there been any updates any where else. I was wondering why nobody has been posting to this site.

    • Kath says


      Don’t know why the site seemed to die off, but no I do not monitor it Maybe all those who have had the surgery, like me, have gone backwards and were unable to type due to their arms.

      I started to believe people when they said it was a month by month recovery. I had a few good days, but suddently both my arms started to go backwards again and no doctor wants to help. Had both arms done in August 2008. Problem is one doctor never wants to comment on another doctor’s work (or mistakes), so the patient end up stuck with their problem. Will no doubt eventually cost me my job as I am a secretary and have problems typing all day.

  200. says

    In March 07 I had my left elbow done. It was not helpful to me at all. In May 08 they did my right elbow before it got worse. the surgeries.I still can’t comb my hair or do anything for myself.I’m trying to be a good sportabout it,depressed,in pain 24 7 none stop.I haven’been able to work,need both armsa for lifting!! Needing suggestions.

  201. Mike says

    looks like I am going to be getting this surgery and tommy john surgery at the same time. Should be a blast for recovery. Not looking forward to it. Any tips for rehab, pain, or anything else that you can think of?

  202. dennis walker says

    I had ulnar transposition done on my left elbow on 3/5/09..It is now may 15….my left pinky and ring fingers are still asleep, and i am still experiencing 24/7 pain…..my doctor now tells me it is expected and normal…not whathe said pre surgery….I am hoping that i dont have to have more surgery….the pain is un nerving…no pun intended it seems nothing helps the pain but oxycodene…and that stuff scares me, but what can i do?…any suggestions?….i have been prescribed Tramadol/30mg codene sulfate/Gabapentin…none of those touched the pain…any suggestions…thanx

    • Kelly says


      I had both the decompression and sub muscular left ulnar nerve surgeries. The Gabapentin has never been FDA approved to be utilized as nerve pain medicine. I had aweful side effects from it but then again I have problems taking meds. The best suggestion I would make is trying a moist heating bad for 15 min time periods. It helped me when I had my first surgery.
      I just had my submuscular surgery 3 weeks ago and my doctor who is consider one of the best in the area for this surgery said to expect 1 inch per month for nerve healing. My finger sleepy feeling has gotten a little better but what is crazy is that my whole under part of the forearm is numb. I really can’t feel to much on it but I guess that is a good thing.
      I was also told that they do a lot of work in the elbow region and it does take time for the pain to subside. My doctor built a wall so that the nerve does not reposition itself back into the elbow. So therefore I have a rather deformed elbow but I am hoping it will go down in time.

  203. joe schmoe says

    I had ulnar nerve trasp. sub Q. Doc told me i would be throwing after 8 weeks, now 9 weeks and physical therapists tell me that i wont start to throw until around 12 to 14 but with how im doing i have a feeling it may well be around 16 weeks. I guess if i was a secretary you could say i was pretty well recovered but if you are a pitcher, be patient, dont rush

    • Kath says

      I’m a secretary and had submuscular ulnar nerve transposition to both arms in August 2008. Looks like I will have to give up secretarial work because I simply cannot do it. I am a sports person as well (cricket), and I cannot throw the ball. Whatever you do, everyone, find a good surgeon who is not just willing to do the surgery but continue with follow up after the surgery.

  204. MomGiraffe says

    Going in for ulnar nerve decompression w/submuscular transpostion May 28th. Reading this blog has helped, but concerned about the amount of time I’ll be out of work. I’m at a desk job which requires me to be on the computer 90% of the day. Doc indicated I would be in a sling for 3 weeks then start occupational therapy. What can I expect for post-op restrictions…surgery is for my right elbow, I am right handed and drive a 5 speed. Obviously won’t be doing much driving the first 3 weeks. Worried about the restrictions…any feedback would be helpful

  205. joe schmoe says

    drivings a bitch and i drive an automatic. got better after about 7 weeks i had enough strength to turn the wheel

  206. Sean Y says

    I had ulnar transposition surgery May 13th and here I am typing with 1 hand. I need the surgery on both arms but just did the left one for now. But I have to say as I’m reading these posts I’m seeing a lot about people feeling pain. I never really felt any pain until I actually felt the nerve snap off my elbow while heavy weight lifting. But even then it went away within an hour. I did feel the normal pins and needles down my arm into my pinky and ring finger. And if the nerve/elbow touched or bumped into somethinig it was like hitting your funny bone times 100. I’m currently in a hard splint which is now half the size after week 1. During my follow up I barely noticed any bruising. Right after the surgery I had some pain but it wasn’t necessary to take any vicadin after the 2nd day. If it helps I’m 25yrs old and very active as I’m a personal trainer. Almost 2 weeks after the surgery I’m ready to get this splint off. I feel very little pain, just sore to the touch. One thing I have noticed is areas around the splint are getting sore (top of my hand, back of my elbow). I think this is just because the arm has been immobile for so long that the muscles have to get use to working properly again. As far as physical therapy goes I’ll try it once, see what they do, and continue it on my own. I can tell that it’ll still be WEEKS until I start getting full mobility and usage of my arm. I’m hoping by mid July to be 100% and back to exercising.

  207. Audrey says

    I am 2 weeks into my surgery…just when I think I have stopped hurting, it comes back trifold…I have splint from fingers to elbow. I can’t do anything being I am 100% right handed and left hand is retarded. Going on for post op this Thursday exactly 2 weeks and 1 day. Is that 2 early 2 get stitches out or splint off? This was worker’s comp and I know they are gonna try to make me go back 2 work…I am honestly scared of induring more pain..any ideas out there?

    • Kelly says


      No matter what w/c tells you: YOU have to do what the doctor tells you to do. Do not lift anything over 10lbs for the first 30 days is what I was told. Any strain on the muscles around the nerve will just inflame the nerve pain.
      I am fortunate enough to be amadextrous which still does not make it easy but a little less stressful. You really do not realize what a pain in the butt it is to have one hand until you only do.

  208. Sean Y says

    Audrey what line of work are you in? I’ve read that very light impact is ok as it will get the muscles contracting and functioning again. I’m getting my stitches removed on Thursday too! And just to make you feel better, it’ll be 2 weeks and a day as well and I actually cheated…I took my splint off and unwrapped my arm to look at the incision (about 4” long, didn’t think it was gonna be that big) and I’d say it’s definitely time to get the stitches out. It healed very well. But listen, you know your body best. So if something hurts, don’t do it! I went back to work because cabin fever was setting in and I was boredddddd. Do what your body is telling you and if I were you, collect that workers comp!

    • Audrey says

      I sling tires for Goodyear and they would prefer I sit in breakroom for 12 hours instead of being off…problem being, if they send me back they will say work as tolerated….well that is how I ended up with all this damage in the 1st place….I do admit that I have cabin fever also, but I am scared I will hurt more than I am now….but keep me posted on your progress…good luck 2 u!

      • Sean Y says

        Ohhh you’re crazy! It’s time to get a new job! Good luck to you too! I’ll post again after my stitches are out.

  209. Mom Giraffe says

    Hours away from the knife. A bit nervous about the whole thing and the length of time I’ll be out of work. I have a f/u appt. on June 5th to have the stitches removed and June 18th to have the splint removed and straight into Occupational Therapy. I’ll update the sight as things progress….

  210. Chris says

    I am going under on june 5th and a little nervious. I am getting subcutaneous transposition. Any success stories? Quick recoveries to get my hopes up a little?

    • Aly says

      I’m going in for an ulnar nerve transposition tomorrow too. I’m comforted by the fact that my surgeon is really one of the very best. He is the elbow and wrist specialist for all the professional sports teams here in Houston, Texas and that says a lot considering Houston’s medical center is one of the nation’s best and largest. Where are you located?

      Have you gotten any good responses about what to expect? If you’re able, keep posting updates on your progress so we can compare.

      • Chris says

        I live in richmond va. I havent gotten any good responses but I have heard some good things form ppl around my area. I will check back here after the surgery. GOOD LUCK!!!

        • Chris says

          12 hours out of surgery the nerve block is wearing off. Hope yours went well. Check back tomorrow

          • Chris says

            i am now 24 hrs out and feeling good. the nerve block is woren off with very little discomfort. im wrapped up in a splint. they told me to ice it a lot so i am anf i feel its helping

      • Kim says

        hey aly,

        I am in houston and am looking someone for a second opinion and to possibly perform the surgery as well. What’s the name of your doc? I really would like to talk to someone well qualified in this procedure. Thanks,


    • Aly says

      Hi Chris,

      Hope your doing well with recovery. You’re lucky…I didn’t get a nerve block at all for my surgery. I’m doing really well though. The clawing of my pinky & ring fingers is pretty much gone. I have very minimal pain & I’m getting my stitches taken out tomorrow!!

  211. me says

    To all of you having or had surgery. Ask your doc to put the arm in a long arm cast. I had both of my arms done and they were in casts for 5 weeks. Both arms turned out great. I think they turned out so good was because of the cast. If you read other peoples story’s they are still having trouble. My arms hurt like hell before the doc put the casts on. Once the casts were on I had no more pain. After the casts came off I had full range and no pain.

  212. Sean Y says

    So my stitches are out and doctors orders were to remove the splint each day and slowly start bending the arm up and down. I can straighten my arm completely but I can’t bend it more than 90 degrees. The incision is healing rather quickly but as far as having full range of motion, I thought I was way above schedule BUTTT I was wrong! I have a couple more days with the splint…

    • TN says

      I had ulnar nerve submascular transposition in 2002..
      After the surgery the Doc said I “an hour glass shape on the ulnar nerve ” indicative of prolonged compression @ the elbow site.. He performed the the submascular transposition and I was in a hard cast for about 2 weeks with semi bent elbow… seven years later I have NO pain or numbness and function is OK , however 2 things are bothering me now..
      The stregth of the webmuscles of the left hand is sub par.. pinching abitliy with fingers is non existant.. wasting is obvious of the web muscles of the hand!

      The area where the ulnar nerve was ‘burried’ underneath the muscle in the front of the elbow looks like a chunck of muscle or flesh is removed – in reality the contour line of forearm muscle has been changed by elongating or ‘Z-lengthening- of the flexi ulnar carpalis tendon to creat a pressure free envoirnment for the ulnar nerve in it’s new submascular bed..!!

      Sometimes I think I’d like to reverse this surgery and have the nerve run in it’s orginal anatomical position! I’m not sure anymore I just don’t like the fact the my hand and wrist is weaker than my wife’s !!

  213. says

    I had ulnar nerve transposition on my right arm on May 15th. The doctor put a hand to shoulder splint/cast on for a week. The pain post op was intense and not controlled by the hydrocodone. So I got a stronger medication. Did not do much the first week while the cast was on. Kept my arm and hand elevated. Watched lots of movies. On May 22 I got the cast off. Now I have a brace on my wrist. I can move my fingers and elbow but can not use the arm for anything. I have to keep the arm elevated or in sling at all times.

    I work at a computer. Tried to sit at my desk about 10 days post-op and work with my left hand. However my right hand would swell by not being elevated. Plus at this point I was on hydrocodone and would fall asleep. So took a second week of sick leave. I am now 18 days post-op and able to sit in recliner with my right arm elevated and work with my laptop with my left hand.

    I go back to the doctor this Thursday which will be one day shy of three weeks post-op. At that point, I believe te stiches will come out. Not sure what restrictions will be lifted.

    I’ll post another update after I see the doctor.

  214. Tim P says

    I had subcutaneous ulnar nerve transposition on 1/19/09 on my left elbow plus carpal tunnel on my left hand and I would say I’m around 70% right now. The swelling in the elbow is pretty much gone but I do still have swelling in my wrist where the ulnar nerve runs up to the pinky and ring finger. I’m not sure what it is going to happen with my job because I work in a factory and do a lot of repetitive motion. My Dr. stated that I could have permanent restrictions as far as gripping so I’m not sure I will have a job or not.

  215. Mom Giraffe says

    5 Days Post-Op. Not quite as bad as anticipated. Surgery took a bit longer than the doc originally anticipated as the had to move things around more to get the nerve protected. Very little bruising. Pain has been tolerible with pain meds every 4-6 hrs. Most pain stems from the incision, which is still bleeding a bit. Doc is not concerned as long as there is there is no odor and I’m not experiencing any chills.

    No cast, just a sling. Still pretty swollen even after 5 days of anti-inflammatories. Doc said to use Advil to help with that.

    Thus far this surgery has been easier to deal with post op than the 3 shoulder surgeries I’ve had.

    Looking forward to having the stitches removed 6/5.

  216. Aly says

    Those pictures do not look pretty. I am having an Ulnar Nerve Transposition on my right elbow tomorrow morning.

    My case seems to be a little different from all those I have read about. I am 25 and last year I was a passenger on a ATV/4-wheeler and the driver lost control and the vehicle flipped. I fractured a vertibrae but my most obviously injury was my elbow . . . it came out of the skin, backwards. Yes, nasty, I know, a compound dislocation of the elbow. The radial head of my forearm was also fractured.

    Anyways, tomorrow will be exactly 11 months since my accident. My doctor says that I will never be able to completely straighten my arm but, this surgery will hopefully get rid of the pins-and-needles feeling that goes throughout the underneath of my forearm & in my pinky & ring fingers. My pinky finger has clawed quite a bit already.

    Has anyone that has had this procedure been able to reverse the finger clawing? I’m really nervous about what to expect with this procedure tomorrow.


    • Kelly says


      My scar is only about 4 1/2 inches and looks great. The finger clawing should be at least 90% reversed if not 100% after therapy. The best advice is to do the exercises at home in addition to the sessions. Every little bit helps in the healing process.
      I was unable to straighten my pinky out previous to the transposition and now I can but it tingles a little. I just had my surgery on May 27th so that is to be expected.

  217. me says

    I have about an 8 inch incision on each arm that healed pretty good. For under the skin scaring I did a lot of massaging to the area.

  218. julie says

    hello to all who have had this, i am now getting ready to have the surgery done up in here in st louis, i dont play sports or golf, but i do have a bone deformity in both of my arms that do not allow me to have full rotation in the wrist, but does not interfer with any of my daily life or job, but i have the numbing in my left hand last 2 figers and it is so unbareable to me i have been reading about this and also the comments that have been posted regarding the surgery and well im quite scarred now but i know it needs to be done

  219. Aly says

    I had my surgery this past Friday, 6/5/2009 and besides the fact that the pain med.s make me all groggy, I’m doing very well. The feeling in my last 2 fingers is already improving. I’m very lucky to have helpful co-workers & the world’s greatest mom to help me with recovery! I think the surgery was totally worth it & I will follow-up with more details soon!!

  220. says


    where is St Louis did you have your surgery done. I amhaving mine done at Barnes Jewish next week, the submuscular one. How are yuo doing?
    I am really scared, do not like the thought.

  221. KS says

    I had a what I thought was a transposition of the r. ulnar nerve, was in a cast post operatively from 3 weeks and then told to keep off sport for 6 months. Within a few months (about 3/4 months) the nerve did not hold and its been “popping” around the elbow with tenderness and tingling of the 4th & 5th fingers. I was referred to a consultant (a number of years since op) and he says it needs a operation to correct. Does anyone know what time of transposition its likely to be and if it will be immoblized, for how long. The surgery will be in 2-3 months time.
    Regards from England

  222. Brian Chinnock says

    I am having the subcutaneous transposition procedure in 3 weeks. I thankfully have a job in which I can do pretty well with the use of only one arm, so my time off is only limited by how long my arm would have to be elevated resting. Anyone with this procedure before give me an idea how many days I would need to ensure pain/swelling control? Thanks.

    • Aly says

      Hi Brian,

      From what I have read, it really seems to be different for everyone. I had the subcutaneous transposition procedure on 6/5/09. They put me in a hard splint for 6 days & now I have a removable splint. I had pretty light swelling of the elbow but no swelling in my hand at all. I have a job that I can pretty much do with one hand as well. Since my original accident, I have become very ambidextrous & now I am very good with my left-handed mouse. My surgery was on a Friday & I returned to work on Monday however, on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday I didn’t make it through the whole entire work day but, that was more due to the pain killers making me groggy than anything else.

      Hope this helped. Good luck!!

  223. Kath says

    As previously stated, I had bilateral submuscular ulnar nerve transposition last August. I live in Australia and it is now Winter. My arms are giving me hell. I am a secretary typing 8 hours a day and my arms are not happy. I know the weather aggrevates arthritis etc, but is there anyone else who has had this surgery that found that cold weather, particularly wet, makes their arms impossible. Not only is it winter in Australia, but the run won’t go away – and they reckon we’re in the middle of a drought – not in my suburbs its not!

    • roger says

      I was told i hand Ulnar nerve damage last June In November of last year
      i had surgey done on left elbow.Even as i type this on June 24 2009 i have still numbness in my right baby finger.And about 3 months ago it started in My left hand.I have to go for another nevre test in July.There a days that i real dont know how to deal with it.I have read it could ake up to 18 to 24 months to be normal.I wonder every day if it goes away.Any support would be helpful. roger

      • says

        Hey Roger,

        Ryan, here.. I had the surgery done in March of last year as I mentioned earlier in my post. I still have the numbness and tingly feeling in my left fingers, cramping in my fingers and the elbow is still pretty tender. My doctor told me he thought it would take anywhere between 2-5 years for the nerve to completely repair itself. Unfortunately, it’s something I am just getting used to. It’s better then it was before the surgery though.

  224. says

    I had subcutaneous transposition done on left elbow and decompression in wrist and palm last Wedenesday 6/21/2009.
    I thought I got hit by a freight train 12 hours after the nerve block wore off. Terrible pain for the first two days,then settled down. I was in cast for 6 days then when I went to therapy for fingers and elbow they removed the cast and put on a splint. Feels so much lighter.
    I had no bruising at all and all three incisions looked good.
    My pinkie and ring finger are very stiff still, and my hand is also still swollen. Very little discomfort at elbow, mostly at wrist and palm. No therapy yet for the wrist. Will go for post-op on 7/6/2009
    I go for therapy again tomorrow and will update.

  225. Tom says

    I am having r elbow trans and r wrist release. Great Doc from philly doing surgery. I am the owner of a painting business. I still do a lot of the painting and wonder how long it will be before I will be able to use my r to cut in a cieling. I have high pain threshold and my pre op statis is not horrible yet (mostly forearm pain, elbow sensitivity, frequent fingure numbness, super sensitive funny bone). I would like to thank the women with the bottle of Vodka in her lap for rear ending me.

  226. Tory says

    I am scheduled to have the ulnar nerve surgery on Monday and I just wanted to know how long it takes? My daughter wants to visit me in the hospital when she gets off work, my surgery is at 1pm and she is released from work at 2pm, will I be done and ready for visitors, or should she wait? I am told that it is an out patient surgery, is that true?


  227. Kath says

    Last weekend I had been doing my water exercises and came home feeling good, despite having a hard time typing all week. Suddenly, when I leant over to get something I had a shooting pain go up my left up and when that stopped I was left with what was like electric currents running down to my little and fourth finger. This stopped when I went to bed and on rising the next day it returned and arm was painful. This went on for two days and then last week at work typing was HELL! Sensitive finger tips, shooting and burning pains. I took Thursday offer work hoping it would settle down, but not so. It is now 10 months since I had surgery to both arms and suddenly I am going backwards. I am extremely upset and depressed because, although progress was extremely slow, I thought it was eventually going to work. Not feeling so confident now and doubt I will be able to go to work next week if unable to type. Will not see specialist or doctors because they don’t want to know about it. Am concerned will lose my job if I cannot get on top of this. Has this happened to anyone else?

    • lib says

      how long did you have this issue before surgery? did they do and emg or nvc test on you? before or after?
      i sure hope you start to feel better.

      • Kath says

        Was misdiagnosed for nearly over 12 months with it in my right arm. Told by a staff doctor to use my arms more as it was all in my mind. Result of using my arms more I ended up with the same problem in the left arm. Went elsewhere and ultrasound and MRI showed ulnar nerve problem in both arms. Nerve conduction test only showed minor problems. No EMG done. Neurologist this week is doing a nerve conduction study and EMG but am worried this will show up nothing and again it will be blamed on imagination. Have read other people on this site have had EMG/NCS which came back normal despite having problems.

        • lib says

          i sure hope this improves for you. let us know about the test.
          also my dr says cold weather irritates the ulnar nerve even more….
          keep warm!

    • Lynn L. Morris says

      Yes! I had a radical ulnar nerve transpotion in May of 07. It took my jobs insurance (SCRAMA) 5 yaears to finally approve the surgery.( the insurance Dr.is Greenwald, from Reno Nv. whom I’ve never seen ) Needless to say, it was 4 1/2 years to late. I can’t lift anything over 5 pounds, No overhead stretching…what I’m trying to say is.. of the everyday,every moment pain..it sucks. I have nothing to look forward to..except possibly more surgery..physical therepy..injections…medications…how sweet it is!! And I still don’t know what all this is going to cost me..try to get a straight answer, because Southern Califorina Risk Management Association isn’t giving me one.

  228. says

    follow up on my surgery 6/17/2009 for subcutaneous transposition and distal wrist/palm decompression is as follows.

    12 days post op. still having shooting pains in palm and wrist.Elbow remains tender. Still not allowed to have any motion of the wrist. Still swelling of fingers and hand.
    I wonder how long before that subsides. In splint and have post op visit to have stitches emoved on 7/6/2009. No bruising at all.

    Pinkie and ring finger still somewhat numb and tight. Able to make fist, but the two fingers still feel very funny.

    Has anyone had this surgery where it also involves the wrist and palm?

    • lib says

      yes, i had the elbow done 3-23 and hand may-11
      the ulnar nerve and carpal tunnel in hand….7 weeks ago…
      i am having numbness and such in the carpal fingers i did not have prior 2 surgery. i also had right elbow done may 11, more tingling than before and the ulnar side of that hand is pink?? i am assuming nerve irriration.
      what all did you have done?

      • says

        i had subcunateous ulnar nerve transposition done at elbow and decompression at the wrist at the same time on 6/17/09. same arm
        i went to therapy today and hand is still real sore and swollen and pink. i am more sore in handand wrist than elbow. little finger and ring fingers feel tight and tingle and somewhat numb and really hurt at times, but i can move them into fist. wearing a compression sock and splint now from hand to shoulder, will have post op next Monday.
        was in cast for 6 days prior

  229. says

    this splint drives me nuts, it is always pressing somewhere, causing discomfort, i can”t wait to get this thing off. 6 more days of this, keeps me up all night. they have adjusted it about three times, still does not feel good, has anyone else hd these issues wih splints?

    • lib says

      i only had a splint for 3 days, call and tell them see if you can go with out, just wrap it in an ace bandage.

      • says


  230. me says

    Don’t take the splint off early or you will have nothing but trouble with the arm. I am a person who takes splints off early and have had nothing but trouble with all my other surgeries. This time for my arm surgeries the doc put my arms in full casts. I was in no pain with the casts on and after they came off I had full range of motion and no pain. I still say the best way to heal is in a cast.

  231. me says

    I had surgery done in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My arms are doing great. I contribute it to having the casts on. I had carpal tunnel on my right hand about 3 years ago. All I had was a splint which I did not wear all the time. It took over a year for it to heal. I just had carpal tunnel on my left hand and had a cast for 5 weeks. My left hand felt great and no pain right after the cast was off. It still feels great to this day. I had ulnar nerve transposition on both arms and they were in casts. They felt great right after taking off the casts. I had no more tingling or numbness in the hands, fingers or elbow. If you can get your DOC to put a cast on I recommend you do it. The casts feels cumbersome at first but after a day or two you get use to it. You won’t even know it’s there.

  232. says


    I had a cast for 6 days and then they took it off and put on this splint. i go back to St Louis on Monday for post op. and will see what he says. I have been good keeping the splint on, and today I am feeling better than I have. The ulnar nerve decompression in the hand/wrist gave me more grief than the transposition in the elbow. So we’ll see what he has to say.

    • me says

      I had both done on my left arm at the same time. My arm was in the cast for both. Both surgeries turned out great. I had carpal tunnel on my right arm at a different time and only had a splint. I had nothing but trouble and it took a year to heal.

      • lib says

        what kind of trouble did you have with the carpal release? i am having issues that i did not have before.

        • me says

          Numbness in the hand alot of pain around the insicion. It took a year to get better. With my left hand I had no pain and it felt great after the cast came off.

          • lib says

            did you have far worse numbness after the carpal release? i do, its driving me crazy. thank you for sharing as it makes me feel hopeful.
            were the surgeries different?

    • lib says

      yes my hand where the surgery in the hand is also pink. what is strange the other hand is pink on the ulnar side only had the elbow surgery….?

  233. me says

    Yes the hand I did not have the cast on was worse than before the surgery. I think that is because I was using it too much after the surgery. The hand that had the cast felt good in the cast and felt great once the cast was off. That is why I say it is better to heal in a cast. In a cast you can’t us it and you can’t take off your splint.

    • lib says

      i had a splint i could not take off for 3.5 weeks with the carpal. it is finally starting to feel like the numbness is trying to ease off. i will need my right done one day…..dread.
      with both my ulnar nerve transpositions, i had a cast 3 days, then ace to work on rom. my dr follows dr mackinnons get the nerve moving and gliding so it does not get scared down approach. its so interesting that different docs do it different ways.
      do you know what caused your ulnar nerve probs?
      mine i believe was work, cell, sleeping on bent elbows.

  234. Ayiesha says

    I am reading your comments because I am having carpal tunnel and pinched nerve surgery on the same arm, next week. I am a nurse, but still a little worried, because I dont know much about nerve issues. I have also heard good and bad about the surgeries. How bad, was the pain after you woke up from surgery? Did your pain medicine control your pain?

    • lib says

      my first was worse, i needed morphine. i had a pain pump for both, the second was not as bed….take the meds.

  235. me says

    The pain after the surgery depends on the person. For me it wasn’t the worst but I am used to pain. I am on morphine 400mgs + in a day and the pain meds only take the edge off. For other people I have heard they have no pain with the meds. If you read my other comments I would ask your doc for a cast not a splint.

    • Ayiesha says

      Thanks for your reply. My Dr. mentioned Percocet after discharge, nothing stronger so I hope it works. He told me it was outpatient and that I would wear a wrist brace and an elbow sling for 6 weeks. I will definitely ask about the cast after reading your post. I really need this to heal the first time around.

  236. smith says

    This is for Kath. I’ve been checking blogs, sites etc. about this injury. I was told today that I need the UNT surgery. Your story mirrors mine almost identically. What I would caution you about is this: if you have similar symptoms in both arms there is a good possibility that the problem lies in your neck area. The ulnar, radial and medial nerve originate there with the ulnar connected to your spinal cord at C-8 and T-1 vertebrae. I’ve met with 2 neurologists and a neurosurgeon who all confirm that this problem is either isolated (problem in 1 arm) or systemic (both arms), the latter most likely being a spinal/vertebral issue. When you wrote that you leaned over to get something and suddenly had a problem, that’s not the typical manner of injury for just one nerve in one arm. Try to rule out your neck area as the problem. This may be difficult if you encounter uncooperative health care professionals, but press on. My neurologist checked my neck and both sides and exremeties 3 times just to make sure. I hope this helps and I commiserate with you completely. P.S. If you want to see this particular procedure step-by-step, google “ulnar nerve transposition”. Scroll until you see Vesalius Clinical Folios–ulnar nerve transpostion”. You don’t have to join or sign in to view these very detailed (and graphic-yecchh) step-by step photos of the complete procedure. Hollaback and let us know…Good Luck.

    • me says

      You might be partially right but, I had pain and numbness in both hands. I had the Ulnar Nerve Trans done on both arms and my hands are great. No more pain or numbness. My Doc would not let me move them for 5-6 weeks (Casted).

      My problems were caused by a lot of use of my arms and age. Some docs believe in use right a way. If you read most of the posts, the people still having trouble are the ones that started using the arm too soon.

    • Kath says


      Thank you for your comments, they have been very helpful. Saw a physiotherapist the other day who said exactly what you did. For years prior to my hand/arm problems I would suffer severe neck problems/headaches, unable to move for days etc. It seems that this was all a warning sign of what was ahead. I have also been told about “double crush syndrome” and I am having EMG/NCS to find out exactly what the problem is. Again, greatly appreciated.

      • me says

        Kath and smith,
        I was wondering with your neck problems do you have shoulder and bicep pain. I have had 5 rotator cuff surgeries on my right and still have the same shoulder and bicep pain. I was hoping by doing the elbows it would help the shoulder. When I did the elbows it did help the hand and fingers.

        • Kath says


          Glad you mentioned the shoulders and biceps. 4 weeks after the surgery whilst getting dressed (without any arms) I supposedly tore a muscle in my arm/shoulder on both sides. I am constantly having problems with my biceps and have simply been told not to do any overhead activities (easier said than done). All up my problems seem to be biceps, shoulders and elbows. I particularly wake up in the morning and cannot move my arms because the biceps seem to be catching and find it hard to carry anything, groceries etc.

          • me says

            Did the doc say what can be done. I have had 5 rotator cuff surgeries and still have the same problem. The doc still says it is from my shoulder. I am beginning to think it is from my neck. I do have 3 bulging discs. I have had all of my lumbar discs fused already. In the last week I have been having terrible low back pain. I am also fighting a blood clot in my leg that goes from my groin to my ankle. I am getting very disgusted with pain.

  237. Ayiesha says

    Hello again,
    I have one last question for you guys, did you both have to have physical therapy after surgery for your elbow?

    • me says

      Notherapyfor me. My arms turned out great. I had full range of motion and no pain after the casts came off. As I said before they were in casts for 5-6 weeks.

  238. Donna says

    My symtoms – pinkie & pinkie side of ring finger numbness – first occured on 2/13/06 – can remember exactly because it was the day before I had back surgery! I griped about it to anyone that would listen. Finally doc sent to have nerve conduction tests and to hand surgeon – 05/06. By this time whole arm was aching. Had transposition done end of May – out patient, half cast – kept arm stationary but soft on top – for 2 weeks. Did 6 weeks of PT. Pain went away, but fingers are still numb. Then in December ’06 the numbness turned to hypersensitivity on side of my hand from wrist to pinkie. Did more nerve tests. Neurologist wanted to know what in the world I had been doing with my arm! Apparently tests were worse than the first test in May. So, had nerve released in my wrist. No cast or splint – just cotton and ace bandage. Fingers were still numb, but no pain. P/T for 6 wks again. In the course of after care, my surgeon and I got cross ways – no record of appts., being left in waiting room for hours, etc. and I quit going. Initially I really like the guy, thought he was great, but felt like he was bored with my hand. He kept saying, “You don’t want any more surgery!” And I didn’t – I just wanted to be well. At some point – summer of 2007 – I had a consult with another hand surgeon. He basically said the same thing – no more surgery – but come back in 6 months. I never went back. At this point, I’ll say that I was 55 when all this started – 59 now. Occasionally my arm will ache – Advil takes care of it. HOWEVER, since Friday, my arm has been killing me – from the hollow in my neck – right about my collar bone, all the way down my arm, concentrating on my shoulder, bicep, elbow, wrist and into hand. Especially sensitive around the nails on pinkie & ring fingers, pad of my thumb – which is weird – that’s a totally different nerve. Advil is not touching it this time. I am a young 59, do yard work, ride my own motorcycle (have been riding 50 miles a day to work & back recently because of the economy), not a sedentary life style. (I think my brain is panicking over the Vicodin news of late – kidding, I haven’t had any since last surgery). I really don’t want to start the routine again – don’t know if fired doctor will take me back, don’t want to do nerve tests again – even dread telling my doc that the pain is back. Anyone have any clues or suggestions?

    • says

      Suggestion is to find a REPUTABLE chiropractor who is familiar with this nerve problem. The only relief I received was through one and I asked him to leave my back alone where more “forceful” adjustments were concerned. He kept the elbow in it’s proper position, kept the wrist and fingers loose which helped alot. Sometimes it was pretty uncomfortable while he was working on these things and for a day sometimes two afterwards but I kept going back because the relief and improvement in range of motion and strength were well worth it. Unfortunately this is not covered by my medical past so many visits so I go rarely now.

  239. Justin says

    Im 19 years old an have numbness in my right little finger, outside half of my ring finger and that side of my hand on the palm/back side. I saw a hand/elbow surgeon a week ago and have been scheduled for an EMG and MRI in two weeks to determine if the damage is in my elbow, hand or both. The surgeon that I saw had me do a pinch test and my right hand had about half the strength of my left(I’m right handed). I work at a gas station pumping gas for the summer and when using my right hand for hours I end up with slight soreness in my elbow, the pain is not debilitating but definitely uncomfortable. I will be started my second year of college in the fall and the surgeon said he was going to put me on the “fast track” to getting the surgery and everything over with so I would be able to return to school able to actually perform. After reading some of the things written here I am worried about having a slow recovery and not being able to use my right hand properly for school. Does anyone think I will be recovered enough to have proper use of my right hand for writing/typing by the time school start in September or an advice for a speedier recovery?

    • Kath says

      No one can answer this question as everyone is different. I had my done in August last year (submuscular) and was not allowed to consider returning to work until 3 months and even now I struggle. I did however have both arms done together. If you need to have it done best to get it done as soon as possible, but don’t have expectations of it being a quick recovery or comparing yourself to others. Better to know from the start recovery is a month by month things, and full recovery may take 1 to 2 years. It also depends on what sort of nerve surgery you are talking about, as the submuscular ulnar nerve transposition takes longer as it is more involved. Each technique has a different recovery period.

    • says

      Gee Justin, as you can see by the posts the recovery time is so different for everyone. My surgery was 2 years ago (subcutaneous not inter muscular) and I still have times where too much typing or writing triggers alot of pain and I just can’t continue. I did though have the nerve move from it’s surgically placed position so it now subluxes over the bone. Dang that hurts. My surgeon (#2, who did not do the surgery) suggested it was due to too agressive rehabilitation by worker’s compensation. Also I am 53 and you are only 19 so you probably have a much better chance at a good recovery with good results. So if I can suggest anything it would be to not overdo it too soon after surgery or it may hamper your overall success. Nerves do heal slowly.

      • Kath says


        Pardon my ignorance, but when you say you had the nerve moved from its surgically placed position, does this mean that you had a second lot of surgery to move the nerve again? Like you, I am a typist, and last week I just could not go on and was about to walk out of my job. I simply cannot manage anymore after having the surgery done in August to both arms last year. 3 weeks ago the left arm started to play up again sending electric current type pain down to my little finger again, so I commenced typing with one hand. Now that hand, being the right is so sore it is unbelievable. Am afraid to go back to the surgeon. If you had a second lot of surgery, how did they decide upon doing this. What tests etc lead to them deciding the nerve had to be moved again?

        • says

          Sorry so long to reply. The nerve moved on it’s own from it’s new position and now subluxes over the medial epicondle (elbone lol) It appears to be headed back to it’s original position in the cubital tunnel. i had an ultrasound to verify this was happening and they described it in their report that it “twanged like a guitar string” when it moved. This is very painful and causes my ring and little finger to curl up into my palm and it takes a while for me to work it back using my other hand. I am waiting to see another surgeon to discuss moving it again into the submuscular position. I will ask to see if they just can’t put it back where they found it as I may have been better off before surgery if it was just given time instead of aggressive approach. I will keep you posted, the appointment is Aug. 7th.

          • Kath says

            Thanks Sandra. Interesting that, I specifically asked my doctor could this reoccur and he said not. I had a feeling my left arm had undone itself becausse I just knew. I could not move the arm, and yes, my fingers were spontaneously curling up. Neurologist nearly 12 months on ran NCS and left arm is now worse than pre surgery. Thanks for confirming this and I wait in eager anticipation of what your specialist has to say.

  240. Kath says


    Nothing has been said as to what can be done. The only person really giving me any good feed back is the physiotherapist who has seen this type of problem before. Some think it is in the shoulder, some think it is in the neck (I tend to agree with you on the neck being the cause), where doctors, they just seem to think it is all in your head. Would recommend watching the movie “The Doctor” with William Hurt. Doctors make better doctors once they have had the illness themselves, otherwise they just disbelieve everything.

    • me says

      I am beginning to think it is a neck problem with my shoulder and biceps. After 5 rotator cuff (cup) surgeries and I still have the same problem. The ulnar nerve trans did help my fingers and had.

  241. smith says

    Hey, it’s great having all this input from those of you who have been through the UNT surgery; I just wish there were better outcomes for you. But I have a question. Has anybody know about or tried alternative therapies before surgery? I’m currently having ultrasound and e-stim therapy along with exercises and no work. Has anyone had any experience using iontopheresis? I’ve had the symptoms only 4 months and PT/OT for only 3 weeks. Seems like there could be something else out there instead of jumping to surgery right away. Thanks to any and all.

    • lib says

      i tried pt, splints, ultra sound, chiropractor, iontopheresis, active release….and such…..bilateral surgery.
      the thing is you cant let it go, the longer you have it, the harder it is for the nerve to recover

      • Kath says

        Smith, listen to Lib. She is right. The longer you let it go the worse it is. My left arm may need an arthroscopy to remove scare tissue. Scare tissue built up because the problem had been let go too long.

  242. says

    Went for my post op on Monday, stitches removed, but doc still wants me to wearthe compression sock and splint for two more weeks. Incisions on both the elbow and hand/wrist look good, still very tender especially on he wrist and palm. Lots of therapy for both the elbow and wrist, and little and ring finger still going numb and palm as well. Massaging the incisions to eliminate scar tissue, and this aggrevates the situation. Nerves heal very slow, so looks like a long healing process. Elbow gives me less grief than the wrist/hand surgery.
    Elbow pain wakes me up at night, but the burning of hand/wrist is an all day thing. Still have swelling, any suggestions?

    • me says

      I don’t understand why every one else is having so much trouble. I had the submuscular ulnar nerve transposition with carpal tunnel release on both arms. I have about an 8-10 inch incision on my elbows and about 2-3 inch on my wrists. I had no therapy and both arms are doing great. The one thing I did have were casts from fingers to shoulder.

      • Lynn L. Morris says

        Maybe because it didn’t take you 5 years to get an approval for the surgery,thus it was basically to late for good results.

  243. says

    dear me,

    you are so lucky, I had the same but now have splint. I have same incisions as you do, and elbow feels fine, just the wrist is still so sore. Fingers still swollen at times. Not taking any meds, doing excersises and massaging. What did you do?

    • me says

      The only time I took meds was during the first 2 weeks. After the casts came off I was a little sore for an hour or two. But that is expected when having a cast. I had full range of motion about 2o minutes after the casts came off. I say the thing that made mine go so good were the casts. I have had other surgeries with just a splint and had nothing but problems after. That is why the DOC said he wanted to use casts and see how I come out. He was amazed the difference they made. I have not been back to see him since I had the casts off. I have had the casts off for about 6 months now.

      • Kath says

        I am the opposite. After the surgery (both arms), I had pain but did not really need to take and medication. Even immedicately after the surgery I was not on any meds. I am allergic to all the really strong medications they use in hospital, so the really good stuff was not an option for me. My problems are now, nearly one year on after returning to work and trying to type 8 hours a day. By the time I come home at the end of the day, my arms can barely move, so cooking, housework etc are near impossible. When I sit still I am fine, it is just when I am attempting to use the arms.

  244. says


    I am so sorry to hear that, I too am allergic to all those pain killers and taken only for first day after surgery. they made me sick. my elbow gives me less grief still, but the hand, fingers still do. i still get the pins and needles all over the arm, in therapy for both. the pinkie and ring fingers are still a little numb and I am not allowed to do anything with the arm/hand other than therapy. I hurt all the time and have trouble sleeping. I wonder how long before I am able to live normal life again.

  245. Kai-Lin says

    I’m reading alot of “horror” stories. I’ve been informed I’m due to have a subcutaneous transposition in a couple of months and been told I’ll need to be off work for 6 weeks afterwards. As a teacher I can’t see that being feasible but then don’t really know what lies ahead, I’ve read various accounts of peoples’ experiences and I know my surgeon favours getting the elbow moving asap.
    Would appreciate any insight as to what I could expect and whether I really need 6 weeks off work.
    All the best K

    • lib says

      my surgeon as well favores getting the nerve gliding and elbow moving asap to prevent scar adhesions. it may be the type of surgery. one of the top drs for this also has written papers and advocates gettin it movin. good luck

      • Kath says

        Get it done as soon as possible. I am having loads of problems with my right arm and I have been told it is because there is loads of scaring in that arm. Looks like they will have to go back in to mine and remove scar tissue in the hope of settling it down.

  246. smith says

    Kath and lib, Thanks for the feedback. After doing even more research and meeting with the NS again, it seems that I’ve reached a point of no return. However, he will be doing a subQ trans. but will be using strands of fascia to make what he called a kind of cradle/loop so the nerve will stay put and prevent future compression. Anybody familiar with this? Also, according to a surgical group’s study, many times only a “simple decompression” with a 2″ incision at the elbow is necessary for this problem. But apparently it needs to be done sooner than later. I guess the key is how serious the compression and how long a person waits to have surgery. All I know is that I’m tired of stressing about this and I’m way past ready to get a healthy arm/hand again. Thanks so much to all; your input has made a big difference for me. Good luck everyone.

    • lib says

      yes, my dr made a pulley, facial flap, it was also transmuscular…..i dont understand that part but its a modified surgery that dr dellon and mackinnon use from what i was told.

  247. smith says

    Kai-Lin, Hi. Just a short note to offer some advice. “Recovery” times seem to vary depending on the source and the anticipated procedure. Also your profession. I urge you to meet with the NS again. Compile a list of questions/concerns for him/her. Get all your answers. From what I’ve learned, 6 weeks off sounds about right, depending. But if it is certain you need this procedure, try to push the surgery date up sooner if you can, just as Kath and lib wrote. I’m told mine is early enough that I’ll be doing therapy in 2 weeks after surgery. Ask about “simple decompression” at the elbow. It’s surgical improvement of the cubital tunnel and nerve release without transposition. But that may just be delaying the inevitable UNT until later. Again, ask them. Make them tell you. It’s YOUR arm/hand and it would be great if you could use it the rest of your life, no? Best wishes for you. Let us know.

    • Kai-Lin says

      Hi Smith
      Thanks for your advice. I have a subluxation of the ulnar nerve and a simple decompression wasn’t offered as a solution. I was hoping to have the op during the summer vacation period but its more likely to be in September, unfortuately I can’t change the date I’ll be given as its considered “elective” surgery. What have you been told about your procedure and the progression of treatment?

  248. dutch says


    i had the subq surgery of elbow as well as the guyon decompression done, I started therapy a week after the surgery. i am having more issues with the hand/wrist surgery. i had mine done on 6/17 and am out of work at least untill 8/4. i have therapy twice a week. my transposition has been less bothersome, and i have pretty good movement, but my fingers are still pretty numb, but i can bend them. just a lot of nerve pain discomfort. still in a splint. i heard of some people going back to work sooner, i gues it depends on your recovery and type of work you do.
    i had mine done by a surgeon that also does the surgeries for the st louis blues and rams. my incisions look great

  249. smith says


    Just got off the phone w/NS office. Surgery scheduled for 7/21 w/ pre-op 7/17. NS will be doing subQ trans. ONLY and he says staples out in 2 wks. and therapy after. I think they hesitate on timeframes because they want to wait to see how the surgery goes and how the patient responds. And I guess recovery/therapy times can be more accurate once you get started. Also, it seems that recovery is longer and more complicated if you have the elbow and wrist done simultaneously, but you didn’t mention that being the case. More later…

    • Kai-Lin says

      Hi Smith Lib and Dutch
      Thanks for your replies, I see light at the end of this. My nerve pops over the elbow every time I flex/straighten it, which with repetitive actions & exercise becomes v tender/sensitive and painful around the area and tingling in the 4th & 5th fingers. I have a had previous surgery but couldn’t remember what it was only that elbow in a cast for 2 or 3 weeks and no therapy, it was suggested this was a decompression but prior to surgery the nerve was stable.

      Smith: Good luck with your pre op and op, pls let me know how it goes.

  250. says


    are any of you guys still dealing with nerve pain, and how do you handle it? Do you take meds, massage? I have tried all, therapist suggests Cymbalta o some other meds for nerve pain.

    • me says

      Cymbalta is a med for depression. I took it for another injury and it made me very sleepy. Did not help the pain.

  251. says

    The and/wrist surgery I had was the Guyon Canal decompression in addition to the subq transposition in the elbow. My wrist is so sore, even to the touch. I have pins and needles in the entire hand.
    I go to therapy twice a week, but the soreness, stinging in the wrist on thr palm side remains. Anyone had this done and how longbefore all these pains and pins and deeles go away. I am still in splint for a few more days. I am one month post-op.

    • lib says

      i am 9.5 weeks post op, my hand is just now starting to slowly improve.
      where are you having the nerve pain?

      • says

        my pain is in the wrist/side of palm and fingers. i was able to bend fingers better right after surgery, even the op of my hand hurts.

  252. me says

    Again let me tell everyone not to use you arm and hand too early. My doc wanted me in a splint for 5 weeks. I told him I am not good with keeping it on so he put along arm cast on. My arms healed great. The first week with the splint on I was in terrible pain. As soon as the cast was on I had no more pain. DON’T USE THE ARM TOO SOON. TRY TO GET A CAST.

    • says

      Oh I agree!! Do not try to do too much too soon, I think this was the problem in my recovery. I know it is best to get things moving soon but at a manageable pace for best recovery. I felt pretty darn good at first with gentle exercise of the wasted muscles but as soon as the therapy became more agressive the problems started. I was told I was being too pain focused by the occupational rehab folks and the physio was warning me that pain HAD to be my guide in this case. Unfortunately the occupational rehab folks (thru worker’s compensation) labelled me as being too pain focused and under threat of loss of wage loss benefits I complied. Bad move. That was over a year ago and I am looking at another surgery.

  253. says


    my pain is mostly in the wrist right under the palm, close to the crease between hand and wrist on the bottom of incision and side of the palm. Sometimes the top of the hand as well. My fingers are less flexible than they were right after surgery. Wrist s very stiff, they are starting more aggressive therapy on that. Elbow just a little tender.

  254. Kath says


    Regarding your comments earlier to me, thanks for your reply. I saw my neurologist today regarding nerve conduction studies that were done 2 weeks ago and these show up that my left arm is now worse than it was prior to the surgery. The right arm which also had surgery in August last year is really feeling the brunt of things. The neurologist is now running an MRI of my left arm to see what the nerve is actually doing and an MRI of the cervical spine. Hopefully they will find out what is going on.

  255. chris says

    Does any one know what it means when they say the nerve was flat.This is what they told my wife after my second surgery. They buried the nerve in my muscle. Does it take longer to heal than the one where they just move the nerve. That took 90 day give or take. Oh yeah this cast sucks again!!

    • says

      Take it easy for the first while, have someone with you to help out. I slept with a support for the arm for quite some time and used a light pain med for about a week. After that I went without and it became accustomed to working around it as much as I could. Little stuff like washing and combing my hair, teeth flossing, cutting food when cooking was challenging. BUT, I learned how to get daily tasks done differently while I was healing. Necessity really is the mother of invention!! I also had to get used to a not so clean house and dishes in the sink sometimes but what the heck to heal is more important. Asking for help was never easy for me but I got used to it after I hurt myself a few times trying to do stuff alone. Like grocery shopping for one, gee I still have problems with a full shopping cart.
      Take it easy like I said, be gentle with you and keep a positive attitude!! Good luck to you.

  256. says

    Kai Lin

    I had a l ot of pain the first day, and after that not bad as far as the subq in elbow was concerned. I was in cast and only took the heavy meds the first day. The meds made me more sick and took ibuproven instead. Everyone’s to;erance is different as well as surgery results if you read all the blogs. Good luck, where are you having it done?

    • Kai-Lin says

      Hi Dutch
      I’m in rainy England! Thanks for advice regarding pain management, how soon were you out of cast & able to drive?

      • says

        hello Kai-Lin,

        oh wonderful England. I had two surgeries at the same time. The subq in elbow and Gunyon Canal decompression in the wrist/hand.

        I had a cast for the first 6 days and then it was removed and I got a removable splint. I was able to drive ( automatic ) after two weeks. I am in therapy 2x a week, and still do not have full range of motion of elbow, but pretty well. My hand/wrist is what is giving me the most issues. My little finger and ring finger still are funky, and am not able to do too much. But having had two surgeries might contribute to
        thr long reovery. I am still in splint, it will be 5 weeks post op tomorrow. I wish you little pain and a speedy recovery.

      • Kath says

        I had NO pain immediately after the surgery, so don’t think the worse. It was when I returned to work 3 months later the pain came back.

  257. smith says


    Just a brief update; had the UNT subQ. yesterday afternoon on rt. elbow only. Pre-op set-up took about 45 min. and the actual procedure took a lttle more than an hour but I guess that’s determined by which UNT version is done. Woke up w/no pain or nausea (they put a nifty little patch behind your ear to eliminate nausea before surgery). All I have on my arm is surgical (incision) strips covered by what appears to be a glorified ACE bandage. Before surgery I spoke w/NS having a cast as encouraged by “me” above. I was told it would not be necessary for me to have one. In recovery for another 30 min. then sent home w/ hydrocodone and instructions of “keep it elevated, keep it dry and no driving”. Followup appt. 1 week. Something that helped me was to do all the things around the house that require both hands before the surgery. I also prepared a lot of food ahead of time and froze enough for 2 weeks. Because I am not going to do ANYTHING that may jeopardize this recovery. The last thing I want is to be dealing with this a year from now.

    Best wishes, Kai-Lin, and touch base post-op when you can. All of these posts have helped me gain insight into this problem and I hope it will help you has well. And I think you’ll be glad when it’s over.

    • Kai-Lin says

      Thanks for the update I wish you a speedy recovery. I will of course compare notes post op –
      All the best

    • Kath says

      Do what “me” says. I was put in a pathetic hand shop wrist splint for both hands and subsequently, I have now be rediagnosed with the same problem. Good to see my surgery was a waste of time and money. Insist of having a long cast and keeping it on. Also, take it SLOWLY, I cannot stress this enough.

  258. Nancy Pitluga says


    • Kath says

      I know what you are going through. I am having the same problem, moving my hands hurts my shoulders and stiff neck. Surgeon thinks all in head, but i was told, surgeons will just do surgery and expect everything to be okay. They don’t want to know what has gone wrong because this might reflect on them. I went to a neurologist and with a simple NCS (which the surgeon would not run), it turned out my arms (both) are now worse than they were prior to surgery. Trust your instinct and go with it. If you know something is wrong, go elsewhere for an opinion or testing.

      I too live alone, don’t have licence and have to have groceries delivered because I cannot carry them. I do however go to work and try to participate in light sport where possible. I too did not ask enough questions, however it was up to him to ensure I was informed and knew my situation. I too would do anything to have both my arms back in “proper casts” rather than the hand shop splints that were given to me to wear. Best of all, I was discharged home from the hospital with both arms bandaged with them knowing I had no one to assist me at home. What sort of world do we live in when a caring profession does not have the brains to realise one cannot manage without both arms – how was i meant to cook, shower, clean house etc.

      Thing is, once doctors see you live alone, they somehow equate being single to be lonely and depressed – I work in medical so I know from typing up reports day after day, this is their mentality and their problem. All I can say is, all the best and don’t worry what the surgeon says, he obviously has sh-t for brains!

  259. me says

    I have had many casts and all were no problem. My arms and hand healed great in the cast. I think the doc that told you the cast was the problem was wrong or the cast was put on wrong or too tight.

    • Kath says

      Cast put on to tightly can cause massage problems (eg pinching of nerve, blood clots etc). It can even make arm worse than before.

      • Kath says

        Replying to myself – previous message should read “massive” problems. End of day, not thinking (or typing) straight.

  260. says

    Went to therapy again yesterday, and was told that they will ave me remove the splint most of the tie and start using the hand/arm.
    Not so much problem using the arm, but the hand/fingers is another story.
    My pinkie and palm still have that numb/tight feeling and pins and needles.Wrist movement is limited still as well.
    Pain is minimal, just discomfort on the hand incision, lot of scar tissue there. Bending of fingers a little better.
    Therapist thinks most of my issues are with the Guyon canal decompression I had opposed to the subq transposition.
    I have follow up with surgeon Aug 3rd.
    I hope everyone is getting along fine, this surgery is not one that I would like to have done again.

    Kath, I hope you feel better.

  261. smith says

    hello all

    this post is to offer input and possibly get some feedback. i am 96 hours post-op from unt subq at rt. elbow. there were no instructions given other than ‘keep it dry, elevated and no driving’. i am not using my rt. hand/arm for ANYTHING. i keep it elevated on a pillow when i sleep, sit in the recliner. i do not bend it or do any flexing. there is less pain in the hand and elbow. the incision hurts/itches but that’s to be expected. the 4th/5th fingers are more stiff than before and just as numb. followup appt. is in 4 days. any of you told to just wait until staples/stitches out. if it’s not supposed to be used or bent, i can see how easy that could happen w/oout a splint or cast. i’m not even using it to type this–‘duh’.

    hope all is better. kai-lin, best wishes for your unt today.


    • says


      I had cast removed after 6 days and put in a splint, but they did not remove stitches until about 20 days later. was advised though to wriggle the fingers lightly after the surgery.

      I too slept in recliner with arm elevated on pillow. I am now 5 1/2 weeks post op and was just taken out of splint yesterday and advised to start using hand lightly. No lifting. We’ll see how that goes.

      I have therapy twice a week ad yesterday was pretty aggressive, came home and was in great discomfort and pain, today better.

      Since I had both elbow and hand/wrist done at the same time they might use different therapies, I am not sure. Elbow healed faster.
      I still have tingling and tightness/numbness in little finger, palm and part of ring finger, and incisions are still tender, more so in palm and wrist. Full recovery takes time I guess.

      I hope your recovery goes well, with minimal pain and discomfort. Keep us posted.

  262. Ricki says

    I just had a subcutaneous ulnar nerve transposition done on 7-17-09 on my right elbow. So far I have to say the most annoying thing is definitely the splint. my stitches come out tuesday the 28th thank god because they are really bothering me… constantly rubbing on the bandages. the fist few days were really bad i was taking 2 vicodin every 2-4 hours without much relief. i can see some serious brusing coming out of the top of the splint, so i can only imagine what the rest of it looks like. i just hope in the end it all works out. so far so good. otherwise i am just really bored sitting at home.

  263. Kai-Lin says

    Hi smith et al
    Just been released home after subq no cast,no splint, no physio-just a waterproof dressing over stitches & v disappointed

  264. Virginia says

    I just had the same surgery (two weeks ago) but had NO bruising and have already got no more tingling of my pinky and ring finger. I am having some range of motion issues but am scheduled for therapy to work on that. I am, overall, very pleased with my results with the exception of the resulting scar.

  265. Dr.Hamza says

    Dear all,
    I am a Specialist Orthopedic and Hand surgeon
    i work alot on such problems and i will be glad to receive any question or concern about such operation, or any other operation related to nerves.
    but, generally i am with, and strongly, moving as early as possible for the subcutaneous and delayed for 1 week for submuscular, which i prefer as a technique, waiting for your questions on my email

    • lib says

      dr hamza,
      how safe and effective do you think the ulnar nerve surgery is? also once the nerve is moved what do you believe the reoccurance rate is?
      also the safety of carpal guyon release and reoccurance rate?
      thank you so much for your offer to talk with us patients.

  266. smith says

    Hello, all–
    Again, thanks to Ryan for establishing this forum; it’s very helpful to be able to share all this information. There’s also a certain cathartic value connected with “telling one’s story”.
    Kai-Linn, this may/may not help: I had UNT subq right elbow ONLY on 7/17. As with you, only staples, surgical tape, gauze, ACE bandage. Anyhting else deemed “not necessary”. On 7/29, staples removed, wound cleaned, surgical strips applied just in case. Dr. checked for sensations, said everything looking good. Numbness, swelling, stiffness in 4/5 fingers no better than before op. Numbness, pain, swelling right side of hand and along lower forearm to elbow. Dr. says that these are symptoms of damage/injury and it will take time for this to improve. I’m awaiting PT/OT particulars but therapy will be for at least 3 months with followup appt. every month. Total time until “maximum medical improvement” is 12-18 months. Restrictions: no lift over 10 lb., no gripping or torquing w/ rt. hand, no repetitive elbow movements.
    I know each case is different; I just thought this info would give you some idea of what you might expect at your followup.
    Thanks to all–I hope each day is better than the last.

  267. smith says

    Oops, my bad. Pre-op was on 7/17; surgery was on 7/21. What day is it? What time is it? Where’s my hydrocodone?

    • Kai-Lin says

      Hi smith
      Thanks for your input, reassures me. Now 5th post op day, hand still too swollen to grip, no sensation in fingers up to elbow as you described, wasn’t given any restrictions as to use or hand/elbow orweights I can carry. Have stitches which will be removed in a week and a half, sounds like both our doctors follow the same theory.
      Best wishes

  268. Mark says

    Dr. Hamza,

    I had ulnar release (cut end of cubital tunnel) in Dec 08′. Its been 7 months and I still have the same pain in my elbow. Only hurts when I go full extension rapidly. Slow extension doesn’t hurt. No tingling or numbness in my had either. Strength hasn’t decreased. I’m thinking of getting a transposition (don’t know which one) done but all these stories are scarring the crap out of me. I’m scheduled for another NCT next week. What should I do?

    Dutch- great blog! Hope you fully recover.


  269. says

    update: 6 weeks post op

    Since last therapy 7/28 I am bothered by mild pain in elbow, stitches still a little sensitive and good range of motion.

    The Guyon deompression still giving me the most grief as far as the incision, very sensitive in wrist still and hand.

    Pinkie and ring finger some numbness and feel stiff most of the time and can hurt, cannot make full fist, and upper hand, wrist and Palm and side of palm pain. Drives me nuts. Some swelling at times.

    I do not know if these symptoms are from the subq trans in elbow or Guyon canal decompression, or combination of both. I still apply ice sometimes.

    Able to use the hand for simple tasks,no lifting, except for items that have weight of a cup.

    Therapy 2x weekly consists of:

    Hydropool, scar tissue massage ( oh that hurts ), excersises, ultrasound massage, and rom of wrist and elbow excersises. Some light strength exercises and desensitization.

    Still on disability, and other post op on Monday 8/3. Worried about being released to go back to work, since I am on computer typing 8 hours a day, and do not see how that is possible.

    Hope everyone is getting better.

    • Blain Windish says

      Hey Ryan,

      I know excatly what your going thru..On 8/03/09 I’m having my 8th surgery, a nero wrap on the ulnar nerve on my arm. I’ve had a total of 3 operations on each arm as of 8/3. The pain is very very bad with cramps in my hands. The first nero wrap on the left arm in the bicep area has help with massive pain I was having but still have very sharp stabbing pain that comes and goes thur evry day. But I have your answer if you want to go back to typing..I’m in a Tech school here in Toledo,OH it’s called Acedemy of Techinical Studies for offive training it’s a 3-6 month program or longer. Ok I don’t in school any more!! I use a program thats called Dragon Speak, (it typs every word you say and grammar and also spelling. You must now the right commands your computer uses when the insertion piont is over the tool,icon and so forth) it’s totally awsome, I know my spelling needs help when I’m at home but thats ok that will straighten it’s self out later. I got by my job when I helped for 3 years closing Schools down here and moving all kinds of stuff from pop machines to compiers tables chairs and so on…..So your not alone. What woories me some is the paraliss I’m starting to have….Oh I also got impigenment in my shoulders also….Total of 8 operations. Yes on my disabilty retirenment which is just peanuts after 13 yrs with the schools. No other help except they are paying me to got to school, but that will only last till 1-2 months the program ends. They going to help me during those month for job placement. Well take care and God Bless and I will say prayers for you Bryan.

      Blain Windish

  270. me says

    I thought this doc was going to answer questions. One post and he or she is gone. I was wondering what he or she would say about a cast for healing. I looked the name up and there was no such doc.

  271. smith says

    Thanks, Dutch, for the great update. Lots of useful info. I did not have the wrist done, only elbow UNT. But all things being “equal”, I have almost identical hand symptoms as you, meaning they are from the elbow surgery. It’s disappointing to hear that you still have these symptoms 6 weeks post-op including therapies. And if this is WITHOUT working, what’s to be expected after returning to work? At this point, post-surgery conditions are the same or worse than pre-surgery. Damned if you do…
    Incidentally, at my post-op appt. the doc asked me if I was ready to go back to work “light duty”. This was 8 days after surgery! And, of course, light duty means basically not using the hand/arm for hardly anything. Sure, I’d love a job that is full pay using only one arm–sign me up.
    My first PT is Monday, but now I know what to expect. Thanks again.

    • says

      At my post op the doctor told me I was able to go back to work typing, and I still had arm in splint, very little rabge of motion.

      I got in touch with the disability folks and upon them asking a bunch of questions approved my disability through this next appointment on Monday. Easy for the doctor since it is not his hand and discomfort.

      Today is a better day, less discomfort, but they also did not do aggressive therapy which gets the nerve irritated I believe.
      Will follow up in post next week.

      Hope you feel bette

      • Kath says

        Doctors are good at telling people it will be fine to return to work. Firstly, it is not there arms. Secondly, if it was there arms they would not be so quick to back to work themselves. The longer one can stay off work, particularly away from computers, filing etc, the better. Doctors do not know best.

  272. says




    • Kath says

      The longer you can stay off work the better. I returned to work after both arms were done after 3 months off work. As a result arms are now worse than pre surgery. TAKE YOUR TIME AND DON’T RUSH.

  273. Kai-Lin says

    Dear all,
    Op update: It’s now been 1 week since ulnar subQ trans, not so painful, still can’t feel anything in 4th & 5th fingers (which are swollen & sometimes has periods of intense pins & needles) or underneath palm. Wrist has restricted movement and only approx 15-20 degrees ROM at the elbow but that might be because of the stitches.

  274. Glenn says

    Ive had submuscular transposition surgery on july 13th. I was told that due to my extent of my damage 24/7 numbness, burning pain, shocking pain, very sensitive to touch , loss of feeling in my ring, pinky and plam of my left hand, and extreme cramping of the hand, with muscle wasting, that i had less then a 50% chance of improvement and that it would never improve to level before nerve damage. It is now 3 weeks after surgery and scar area is painful to touch numb at times, for the first 4 days after surgery my ring and pinky fingers were completely numb with no feeling or pain what so ever. after the 5 day everything i felt before surgery returned, regaining the numb tingling feeling and pain in both fingers and palm. My left arm and hand is now extremely weak and my fingers are crawling even more, my pinky goes under my ring finger , and im not able to make a fist , I now have 24/7 tired muscle pain in my arm very uncomfortable, I take pain killers daily to deal with pain. Will be starting PT in two weeks. Doctor was very str8 forward told me it will be a long time if and when it gets better.

  275. says

    Went for my 6 week post op. PT instructions have changed, doc thinks I might have possible early RSD. Everytime they fool with my hand I am in pain for days. We’ll what this new therapy will do. Really frustrated.

    • me says

      Had an mri of my shoulder and it revealed that I tore it again. It also revealed carthlidge damage and grissel. Looks like I will need surgery.This will be number 6.

      Also found out that I have bone spurs on my knee I just had replaced. Not 1 or 2 spurs I have 8 or more. So I will also have to have it redone.

  276. Kath says

    Here is one I have not yet seen posted. A new symptom I developed over a week ago is vertigo. Have been put off work with it because am having enormous trouble walking. Thought after a week it would have left me. Can’t help but wonder if it is related to problems I am having with both my arms after the surgery. Both arms now much worse 12 months after the surgery than they were prior to surgery. Bad neck problems…and now, just to top things off vertigo. Has anyone else had this sort of experience. Can’t seem to get in contact with my neurologist and GP is no help.

    • Kai-Lin says

      Just got date for my post op appointment on the 1st September. I had trouble with balance for the first week and a half after op but doc diagnosed it as an ear infection and I was just unlucky.
      Hope everyone is doing well

    • says


      I suffer from vertigo, but this started long before surgery. I have an ear issue, and MSG triggers it as well as too much salt. Perhaps you do have an ear infection or cold. Meclizine sometimes helps.I take Valium if I have a severe episode. Mine also occur when I tun over in bed, it is my right ear. Check with an ENT doc, they are your best bet.

      Hope you get to feeling better.


  277. Harvey says

    I had this type of surgery a long time ago (over 20 years ago) and it helped with the problems that I was having, the long term effects is the scar tissue growth which is wraping itself around the ulna nerve again. I will not have surgery again as I can live with the pain at this time. I wanted to ask if anyone had issues with their shoulder after the surgery? When I came out of the surgery my left should was killing me and I was in a sling. There was very little pain at the surgery site but the shoulder pain was unbelieveable and i think the nurosurgeon dislocated my shoulder to perform the surgery. I am still having problems with that shoulder to this day and it constantly feels as if it is popping in and out of joint and is very painful.

    • says


      I have had a little disxomfort in shoulder and neck, but it is getting much better, I think it was because of the heavy cast and beig in a sling motinless for so long. You should have that checked, and far as having surgery again, I don’t blame you, my sentiments exactly. This was not fun at all, I am still struggling with the hand decompression post op.

      Good luck

  278. says

    Hi All,

    is anyone familiar with RSD, and what type of treatment was given and did it resolve? This really is just as bad as the surgery if not worse.

    Thanks, I hope everyone is healing and doing well.

  279. me says

    I had rotator cuff surgery 2 months after my ulnar nerve trans. This is the 5th surgery on my shoulder and this time I still can’t lift my arm. It’s been 5 months since the surgery and I think part of not being able to lift my arm might related to the nerve surgery. My arm was great after ulnar surgery. The only problem was my rotator cuff tear. I was able to lift my arm before the surgery. Doc keeps saying I had a massive tear and it will take time to get strength. I never had this much pain or lifting problems with my other surgeries. Anyone else had rotator cuff problems.

    • Kath says


      I tore my rotator cuff 4 weeks after my transposition surgery. Doctor would not do anything about it though as he said I was a “complicated” case and therefore not good for further surgery. I am speaking from not having surgery to my shoulder experience, but it does take a long long time for rotator cuff problems. I went to a shoulder clinic and was given gradual exercises and 12 months on I am only just getting benefits.

  280. Lucy says

    I only just started having symptoms around 5-6 days ago. I’m going to the doctor soon, but I’m pretty sure I have UNE. I’m keeping my arm straight as much as I can, and the numbness isn’t really noticable unless I touch the 4th and 5th finger. The first couple of days, half my hand felt numb and detached, and I could draw a line down my palm where it became desensitized.

    I wanted to know if you necessarily have to get the surgery if your symptoms aren’t extreme. Or if they will just progressively get worse, and would be better to just get the surgery ASAP.

  281. Lucy says

    Oh, and does anyone know how this is caused. I’m still a minor, so I can’t attribute it to age. I did weight lifting two months before the symptoms started, and all I’ve done is type, because it is summer vacation. THe only thing I could think of was how I sleep. I cross my arms over my head and use them as a pillow.

  282. me says

    For those interested the guyon tunnel is right next to the carpal tunnel by the 4th and 5th fingers. I just found out my nerve is pinched there. I just had some tingling in my fingers yesterday. I had my hand bent too long.

    • lib says

      how did they determine it was pinched in the guyon canal?
      i had elbow done then 7 weeks later carpal and guyon…..my dr and i figured it out based on symptoms when wrist was bent…..looks like my right hand has it too…..just had right elbow done, seems this is all to common!

        • lib says

          i had both carpal and guyon, at almost 13 weeks it is better, but still have a bit to go. rsd is MAJOR pain, swelling, temp changes, excessive hair growth, look it up. i think you could be like i was with nerve irritation. can you tell me more detail about your symptoms and where they are?

          • says


            all my fingers get very stiff and painful, painful to bend, hand warm to the touch, very sensitive to the touch, and painful from palm to about 2 inches down on the wrist. Hair is growing on a small patch behind theelow that never had hair. the pain gets awuful. my pinkie is still pretty numb. when I went to doc last week they said i might have possible early rsd. i am 7 weeks post op and this started right after surgery.they are now giving me weightbearing exercises.it very painful most of the time,and makes me irritable.

      • me says


        When I bend my wrist my 4th & 5th fingers start to tingle. I had Ulnar Nerve Trans on my elbow done in Dec 08 and after that my hand was great. But 2 days ago I was playing a video poker machine with my wrist bent and I started to get tingling in my fingers. I won’t have surgery until it gets real bad. My PT for my shoulder said let it rest and you might not have any more problems. I said yea right with my luck it will be bad in a day or so.

        • lib says

          thats how we figured out my guyon, wrist bending caused major numbness, and pain. this came on after the unt. now i am getting it in my right hand after unt…..i wonder why???
          also….how long has it been? i have read w carpal the swelling can last months, imagine guyon as well.

  283. Stephanie says

    I just came across this list and I guess I am just looking for some reassurance. I had UNT as well as TFC tear repair 4 weeks ago…wrist is good but the incision from UNT is still very painful. I guess I am wondering if it is normal to still have so much pain 4 weeks after (I have had many surgeries but none like this) or does this take a long time to heal. I had the surgery on a Friday and went back to work the next Wed. Anxiously awaiting to get back on my Harley but worried I may have to sell it if I continue to have trouble. Many thanks to any info! Stephanie

    • me says


      Did you have the wrist or both elbow and wrist.. If you had carpal tunnel release on the wrist it could take a long time to heal. What is TFC? I had both ulnar nerve trans and carpal tunnel done on my left arm at the same time. I was in a long arm cast for 5 weeks and it healed great. No pain after the cast came off. I had just carpal tunnel on my right hand 3 years ago and did not have a cast. It took a year for the pain to get better. That is why I say a cast is the best way to heal

      • Stephanie says


        I had wrist and elbow done at same time…TFC is a triangular fibrocartlidge tear on the side of the thumb but also had another tear on other side of wrist (can’t remember what) so I had two tears repaired, a ganglion cyst drained from wrist and the UNT. I have heard many say they were in a cast but this was not my case and I think I would have done better if I was in a cast…I guess I just have to be patient but it is hard because summer is fading away and I want to get back to normal activities:) Thanks so much for the info…at least it sounds like it is a long healing process. Stephanie

  284. says


    i addition my hand is still swollen and also light pink through the wrist, the hand is very warm. hopefully they caught it early,doc says all nerves are fired up. did you have same symptoms and how long did it lat and what treatment helped.

    • lib says

      hand was warm, burning, sensitive, felt swollen, stiff like the fingers would split open. buzzing and all sorts of sensations. in only carpal fingers, ulnar did well from decompression. was told median nerve irritation. pt 2x a week, it seems its really time, to feel better.
      when you tap on that area do you get a funny bone feeling?
      could be the nerve is just really irritated. at 13 weeks much better, feel i have a few more weeks to go.
      this is not sounding like rsd to me, and i hope for you just nerve irritation.

      • says


        I have the sensitivity all over hand and wrist and feel nerve tingling into little finger when touching the side of palm where ulnar nerve runs. Wrist is pink and itches, sensitive, maybe it is just nerve irritation. I hope so, I have constant pain. What pt exercises did you do to make this better? Are you working? Doc still has me out and they are giving me a hard time.

        thanks lib.

        • lib says

          yes i am a hair stylist and am back to work.
          pt is just strength and fluiotherapy to desensitize the nerve.
          also a mix of beans and rice in a bowl to put hand in and move it around to help desensitize.
          what type of dr did your surgery?

          • says


            I had my surgery done by an excellent ortho surgeon in St
            Louis, he specializes in hand/wrist and nerve decompressions. Considered as one of he best doctors.

            I think that PT did not catch these symptoms soon enough. The dr. now changed my therapy a bit to include weight bearing. Seems to be helping and doing a little better.

            After how long did you go back to work. My job is computer work, mostly typing and phone work. Collections.I’ll try the beans/rice thing.

            thanks so much.

      • Kai-Lin says

        Just had my stitches out so know it’s early days, but I have those exact same symptoms.

  285. Smith says

    Hi, Lucy–Just wanted to respond because your situation sounds identical to what happened with me; maybe this info can prevent/postpone surgery. I, too, noticed slight tingling in my 4th/5th fingers. Dr. gave me anti-inflammatories and back to work. One week later, significant tingling and numbness, now spreading to outside of hand. Returned to dr., he referred to neurologist 2 weeks later. NCV and EMG testing confirm ulnar nerve problem. Referred to 2nd neurologist for another NCV and EMG and MRI (another 2 weeks). Recommended PT/OT to correct condition. PT/OT not approved by insurance for 2 more weeks. After 3 weeks PT/OT, symptoms even worse with pain in elbow area and 4th/5th fingers curling up with almost no grip strength. Referred to neurosurgeon who confirmed surgery inevitable, which was done on 7/21.
    During all this time I continued to work. That and the fact that the correct PT/OT wasn’t started IMMEDIATELY ultimately resulted in surgery. The symptoms are no better (sometimes worse) and I’m told that IF the hand/arm gets back to “normal” it may be as long as 12-18 months.
    Your symptoms can be reduced/eliminated but you cannot wait. The activities you describe are all probably contributing to your problem.
    FYI–google “ulnar nerve gliding exercises”; scroll down and click on “cubital tunnelsyndrome/eOrthopedic.com”. Lots of good info and links.
    Good luck, Lucy.

  286. Kai-Lin says

    Can anyone give me some exercises to improve the range of motion for the elbow. I can’t bend it beyond 90 degrees without it starting to “crunch”.
    Best wishes

  287. Aly says

    It has been just over 2 months since my surgery & I have had a lot of improvement. My fingers tend to claw up a little bit after a full day of typing and all but they are much straighter over all.

    My scar is very thin & smooth & it is about 6 inches long.

    My tingling is pretty much gone. I’m looking forward to continuing improvement!

  288. Michael says

    Having surgery tomorrow- this blog has eased some fears and answered many questions- thanks. Last two fingers have been numb/tingling/dead feeling since injury in March- severe pain in elbow- hoping this will at least take care of some of the issues/been on pain meds since MRI in may- Dr’s finally see why I have complained constantly about- What is the average time after surgery for return to work? I use my hands and arms constantly with heaving lifting involved. Thanks to all for your posts and responses.

  289. says

    I just had the ulnar nerve surgery on Monday and it is Wednesday. i’m not experiencing much pain but i’m also on strong meds. my fingers are still numb, swollen and stiff. i also have the clawing effect which will hopefully go away. this splint is driving me crazy but is worth the recovery. my doc found it strange that i had such severe symptoms which only began in june and it’s now august. he said that it obviously had been going on a while but i didn’t realize it. thank goodness it’s my left arm!!!

  290. Michael says

    surgery went well- a little over three hours- also had to remove frgaments from the joint and part of the bursa- spoke with the surgeon this am as a follow-up- tingling/numbness in fingers is to be expected for awhile- he had to manipulate the nerve. have had to double the amount of pain meds to get relief- no swelling or any other symptoms- 15 days ti post-op recheck- will keep all informed.

  291. Michael says

    4 days post-op- tingling numbness is worse- joint pain is almost unbearable- severe itching under bandage- hoping the end result is worth the last 2 days.

    • says


      I am so sorry to hear that. I had severe pain right after surgery and then just in the wrist and palm, but I had more pain after three weeks thinking it was the stitches only to find out that this was not the case but it was due to early RSD and believe me it is very painful. Swelling, pain in the joints, severe sensitivity, constant pain and very burning. It is finally geting a little better.I will be 9 weeks post op this week.
      It has been a rough road, but I see a little improvement every day. Still have the tingling sometimes, some numbness and stiffness in the joints. I am on weight bearing exercises and seems to help.

      Are you in splint or cast and doing PT yet?

      As you read this blog so many variations of healing, just stay positive, I know it is hard when in pain.

      Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  292. Jackie says

    I had ulnar nerve transposition in ’05 and then scar tissue debridement in ’07. The 2nd surgery was MUCH worse. I’m now experiencing the same exact symptoms that required the 2nd surgery and I’m going to see the doc next Monday. I don’t want surgery again, really hoping there is another option.

  293. Michael says

    Hi Dutch,
    no pt yet – not in a splint or cast- just a wound dressing and ace bandages- i have a sling for when i am up and around- but i find myself sleeping for most of the day. thanks for your encouragement- trying to stay positive-

  294. me says

    I had an mri of my shoulder and it revealed that I completely tore it again. I also have cartlidge damage. I will need surgery again. This will be number 6.

        • lib says

          dutch glad to hear that!!!! my left is improving by the day, but the right needs surgery.
          are you back to work? what symptoms do you have left?

          • says

            Hi Lib,

            I am not back at work yet, I still have some sensitivity, swelling and a very hairy patch on elbow. In addition I still have stiffness of fingers including the pointer and the middle finger, which PT cannot explain. My pinkie and ring finger still get real tight, tingling and numbness.

            I am sorry to hear you need more surgery, this was not fun. Keep me posted. When will you have that done, and how have you progressed?

          • lib says

            i think i am doing ok, its such a long process to heal. i am not sure when i will have the r hand done, oct maybe….but would like to go to jan. do you know what caused all of your problems?
            the other fingers could be stiff due to swelling in the hand around the median nerve….hopefully it will get better.

  295. me says


    I don’t know if my shoulder doc will do the guyon nerve. I have another doc that did my arms. I am going to ask. My guyon nerve hasn’t been bad. I know if I play the machines again it will act up. My elbow nerves have been great. I still have a little tenderness around the incision . I heard it takes a long long time for those nerves to heal. When the doc does my shoulder this time I am going to see if he will put it in a cast. I think it is the only way it will heal. This is #6 and I am getting tired of no arm.

    Are you having surgery on the elbow or on the guyon tunnel. I think I was luck to have my elbows turn out so good.

    • lib says

      it will be the hand, carpal, guyon and decompression of the deep motor branch of the ulnar nerve. after that i hope i am done.
      i have already had both elbows and one hand done.
      how do you keep injuring yourself? is it job related?

  296. says


    I do not know what caused my issues. I think from resting on my elbow while holding the phone at work. In addition I sleep on my side with arm up. I noticed I go back and forth with pain and no pain. Weather conditions also seem to bother the hand more.Overall the sensitivity is getting much better, still a lot of stiffness and some swelling. I sleep wih an edema glove on to eliminate swelling. Getting better though.Allowed to carry 3 lbs, and do lots of weightbearing exercises.
    Incisions look great both on elbow and hand.Just a slow healing process hat drives me nuts. I am now 10 weeks post op. Hope things are getting better for you as well.

  297. me says

    I am not sure if it is age or if I have a muscle or cartilage problem. Every thing I damage is nerve,cartilage and muscles. I am not good with wearing splints or braces. That is the reason my doc put my arms in casts after the ulnar nerve surgeries. I think that is the reason my arms turned out so good. In a cast there is no using the arm. If I would have had a splint I would not have worn it

  298. Kai-Lin says

    I’m taking amitriptyline as a neuropathic painkiller. My problems stem from sports and the ulnar nerve first popped doing gymnastics. Physiotherapist says I have scar tissue adhesions which I can’t seem to budge.

    • says

      Kai Lin,

      I had a lot of scar tissue on my palm, but with ulstrasound and massage it got much better. What type of excersises do you do and what does PT do? I do a lot of stregth bearing excersises now due to the RSD, still numb in pinkie and part of the ring finger. M pointer and middle finger even hurt due to the RSD. Is this medicine working for you?

      • kai-Lin says

        Hi Dutch
        The PT has given me stretching and mobility exercises and shown me how to deep massage the scar to reduce the scar tissue adhesion. Amitriptyline seems to have dulled the pain and burning sensations but not sure if they would have settled down at this point anyway. I see the consultant on Tuesday and will ask his advice about whether I should discontinue with it. I was never given any weight restrictions and the only exercises I’m doing are without resistance. Have to say, apart from the curled up finger, numbness in the finger, palm and part of the lower arm up to the elbow, the last 3 weeks I’ve made drastic improvements, both in mobility and reduction of pain. I know there have been several comments about the arm being immobilised in plaster but I wonder if that doesn’t slow down the speed of recuperation? There could be a study on this!!!!!!

        • says

          Hi Ki Lin,

          I am so glad to hear that you are doing better. I am improving as well, just a long road to recovery when it comes to the nerves. My pain is getting less, a lot more discomfort at night and fingers real tight in the morning. I do the exercises diligently at home, the weight bearing exercises are necessary to reverse the RSD if there is any reversal possible. I do understand it cannot be cured but can go into remission.
          I can straighten my fingers but bending them all the way is still an issue. They stil get really stiff.Still have numbnesss in the pnkie and ring finger. Palm feels good, but wrist is still somewhat sensitive, and arm feels good.
          How long will you stay in PT and how often do you go? Wrist motion is getting better. Some days it feels like I am going backwards, but I am staying positive. Am allowed to carry up to 5 lbs.
          Still off work. Have you returned to work? I hope you keep improving, and keep me updated.


          • Kai-Lin says

            Hi Dutch
            I’ve been lucky, I’m a teacher and so had op at the beginning of my vacation, I return to work on the 4th. Saw the consultant today and just said to continue with the physio – forgot to ask whether I can stop taking the neuropathic painkiller. I only go to pt once a week and she gives me “homework” :)
            How are the wrist/RSD today?


  299. says

    Hi Kai-Lin,

    I am happy for you. It looks like you are doing well, and had the op done at the right time. I am sure you will get better and better.

    I am doing well, go back to doc on the 14th, and have PT 2x a week, in addition to homework daily.

    Keep us posted on your progress, and have a nice rest of the vacation.


  300. Dawn says

    I had submuscular ulnar nerve transposition surgery on July 25, 2009 and this has been the best source of information I’ve found on the web! Here is my “story” ~

    Numbness in pinky and pinky-side of ring finger gradually worsening to weakening in my right hand (I’m left handed thankfully!). Symptoms were first noticed in Feb/March ~ in June I had my chiropractor try a few adjustments. Seemed to relieve numbness a bit (or I was just hoping it had) for a day or so, but wasn’t “cured”. Never during this time was there anything I would call pain ~ just uncomfortableness of the weakening and numbness. Finally went to orthopedic Dr who ordered testing of the nerve to confirm his diagnosis of UNE ~ testing came back indicating a severe ulnar nerve problem. Dr. thinks there were probably symptoms for much longer than I noticed. Surgery was put off until July (by my stubborness with not cancelling vacation plans). Also – we don’t know what caused the problem to begin with ~ The only repetitive motion I do is using a computer mouse.

    Surgery was non-eventful ~ Woke up with a splint/ace bandages (and instructions not to remove it) from shoulder to finger tip, a prescription for vicodin and orders to come back in 10 days. Surgery was on a Thursday ~ I spent all day Friday and all weekend in a recliner sleeping and watching lots of tv. Went back to work Monday (I work in an office ~ couldn’t do much computer work but could still answer the phone and type with one hand ~ luckily am in the position that I was able to do what I could with a very understanding boss!) Slept in the recliner for the 10 days because it was more comfortable than the bed ~ I couldn’t get comfortable with my arm bent. Not much pain ~ didn’t take very many vicodin except at bedtime just to take away the discomfort which was mostly in my shoulder from holding my arm up.

    After 10 days they taped the incision with instructions not to pull them off ~ ok to shower ~ but let them just fall off on their own. Bruising around incision, but not very painful. Removable splint was made ~ I could take it off to shower but was told to wear it at all other times. Ok’d to bend arm at elbow some and turn wrist, but absolutely no resistance or weight with hand/arm. Next appointment = 5 weeks from now.

    During the 5 weeks I spent most nights sleeping in the recliner because it was more comfortable for me. Shoulder sore because I’m holding my arm wrong. Hand strength better / fingers still numb but much better. Able to bend pinky/ring finger and have much more control even though they are still somewhat numb. Tingling in pinky/ring finger once in awhile, but not anything painful. Occasional shock like pains up and down arm from elbow, but again, nothing unbearable. Mobility of elbow bend gradually increased over the 5 weeks ~ still hurts to straighten arm, but better every day. By the end of the 5 weeks I was getting very tired of not being able to use the arm and tired of not having everything back to “right”! Tape on the incision didn’t fall off and began to look really nasty ~ greenish and infected looking. I took off the tape (carefully) at about 4 weeks and covered incision with a telfa pad and neosporin.

    Had appointment yesterday. Instructed to continue using the splint for another week or two. No infection in incision ~ allergic reaction to the disolvable stitches caused the “nastiness” and I will continue to use neosporin/telfa pads as needed. Instructed to begin PT (which will begin in 2 days) ~ movement ok – still no lifting anything over 1 pound. Shoulder still sore ~ hoping that goes away as I’m able to move my arm more.

    Hopefully this info helps someone else ~ Would I do it again? I can’t see that there was really much choice, so I’d say yes I would. The whole ordeal has lasted much longer than I’d hoped (but then I am not very patient with this kind of thing) ~ I really only wish I had done it sooner so that the nerve wouldn’t have been as damaged and would have recovered more quickly.

    • says

      Hello Dawn,

      sounds like you are doing very well. It is good to hear positive things. I agree that this site has great info, and answers a lot of questions, in addition has real stories of similar surgeries and the successes. My ulnar surgery went fine, it is the Guyon canal surgery that had given me more grief, but now it is mostly the RSD that causes all the discomfort and pain that I am having, but that appears to be getting better, I know there is no cure for RSD, and I hope it will be in remission soon. It really is horrible. I am now up to lifting 3 lbs.
      Please keep us posted on your progress, and hope you will be progressing well.


  301. Without hope says

    I had surgery on 3/17/09 (Subcutaneous transposition) and immediately after surgery I noticed that something was wrong. I kept telling the doctor that I was worse off after the surgery than before. Prior to the surgery, I had some numbness and tingling in the ring an pinky finger. My arm was in constant pain below the elbow. Howvwer, after the surgery, my pinky finger is completely numb and part of my ring finger. My therapist also stated that there was something seriouly wrong with my hand and nerve. The pink finger stays curved. As the months past, I got worse. Now I have sever muscule loss in my hand and still no feeling. Maybe I am the 1% of the patients that gets worse after surgery. I had another EMG test done today and I get the impression from the doctor that I may have permanent nerve damage. I know that I will need another surgery, but I am not hopeful at this point. Currently, I only have use of three of the 5 fingers on one hand and have managed to try to adjust my typing. My life now is a living hell as I cannot do the things that I use to do. Conbing my hair, bathing, cleaning, cooking anod other things that require the use of my hand is now a challenge…. I have also have mild simptons in my right arm and will NOT allow the doctor to operate on it, unless i have to. There is no way that I can afford to not work anymore, but as time goes on, I have to face the fact that I will probally never be able to work again….

    I researched my doctor prior to the surgery and he is a very respected hand specialist. Even the attorney thought highly of him. He did not have any prior complaints or law suits, so I am at a loss of what to do. Any suggestions???

    • lib says

      i had atropy after as well, my surgeon immediatly decompressed the guyon canal and now i am improving. nothing showed up on my electrical tests so discuss with surgeon this option.

    • says

      Is it possible that you have developed RSD, which is what I have, that is not caused by anything the doctor has done. Check it out on line and see if you have the symptoms. Nerve surgeries are delicate. Sometimes great results and other times not so good.

  302. JohnBoy says

    Hello everyone. I am going in for an ulnar nerve transposition surgery on the inside of my left elbow in 9 days, and i am scared to death.

    On November 19th of last year I was two days out from graduating the police academy and was doing field excercises when I took down a “mock” suspect. He was wearing a large foam suit and I had no protection. I put my left arm under his armpit and forced him down. When I hit the ground I felt an incredible popping sensation in my shoulder and saw those little cartoon stars. Everybody who was watching the exercise said they heard the loud pop. I got the handcuffs on the suspect and then stood up sort of swaying. I refused immediate medical attention because we had our final comprehensive exam that night. I took the exam and ended up scoring very high. Two days later I graduated number one in my class. That was on a friday, by sunday the pain had gotten so bad I went to the ER. The ER doctor told me that I needed to get in to see an ortho immediately. I told the ER doctor about the pain and I also told him that my ring and pinky fingers were tingling and felt like they were “asleep.” I contacted my police department and they got everything set up with work comp and I was in to see an ortho within two weeks. He did an MRI and found multiple tears and scheduled surgery. I told him about my fingers and he said that he wanted to deal with my shoulder first. I had surgery on Jan 12th of this year on my shoulder. He ended up doing 8 different procedures during this surgery including having to put anchors in for my bicept muscle. The procedure and the healing process was a nightmare. I swore that I would never have surgery again. I was finally cleared as back to normal at the end of July. I am now the Chief of Police for our agency so I can bend my schedule as well as my workload to accomadate my injury so that helps. Well in the middle of August I get a letter from workcomp offering a settlement for $750 but that I couldn’t see the doctor for my tingling fingers which has never went away. I contacted both the workcomp and the doctors office and explained that my tingling feeling has never went away and they scheduled another appointment. During this appointment my doctor sent me for a nerve conduction study. I had to see the ortho a few days later to discuss the results. During that next appointment I explained to the doctor that when I am laying in bed and I roll over on my left side, if I move just right it will send down an almost electricy feeling down my arm into my ring and pinky. He asked me where it starts and I hadnt even thought about it but then I thought about it and I told him it was around my elbow. He started pushing in on the inside of my elbow and I felt a snapping feeling on something inside my arm and I felt that electricity feeling. He then explained that my ulnar nerve was sublexing at my elbow and that he could try to fix it. He stated that it might not repair the nerve damage that has already happened but that it should stop any further progression caused by the nerve sublexing.

    So now here I am, 9 days away from surgery and I am hoping that some of you might be able to help me understand what I am getting ready to go through. My biggest fear is that this will somehow stop my law enforcement career, and I dont think I could deal with that. I know that people have told me that I should get a pretty nice check from workcomp because of the injury but I dont know anything about that. I have never dealt with any type of workcomp so I dont know how that works. If anyone knows about that also, I would appreciate it.

    Thank you so much for any help or any information you all could give me.