How long swelling after Cubital Tunnel surgery differs from person to person and also depends on the surgical method used. Cubital Tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by too much pressure on the ulnar nerve at the elbow. Some slight numbness is one of the milder symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome. According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, some others include pain and/or tingling in the ring and little fingers. Although surgery can relieve these symptoms, there are a few precautions you can take to get relief without getting cut open.
Avoid Surgery Avoid putting the elbow on hard surfaces such as tables, or wear an elbow pad as a cushion. Also, avoid activities that require repetitive or prolonged flexing of the elbow or leaning on the elbow, an activity that will put pressure directly on the nerve. Keeping the elbow straight while sleeping by using a splint also helps.
Varying Recovery Time Because everybody is different and therefore heals differently, recovery time varies from individual to individual. Generally, recovery can take anywhere from three to six months. That includes the swelling. The Indiana Hand Center says that swelling in the region may continue for several months after the surgery has taken place. Since your arm will be immobilized after Cubital Tunnel Surgery, the best way to prevent or reduce swelling during the post-operative period is to keep the blood flowing through the affected area. Elevate the elbow and keep your fingers moving. These are the best methods to prevent or reduce swelling to the elbow before and after the surgical dressings have been removed.
Therapy When surgery is necessary to relieve some of the more serious symptoms of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, the method of surgery chosen will dictate the recovery time. Whatever method you and your physician choose, your elbow will be temporarily immobilized during the first phase of recovery. Your physician may recommend that you restrict elbow movement and lifting as part of the recovery process, but therapy is a must and takes several months, usually beginning immediately after the physician removes the surgical dressings if your condition does not require additional immobilization.