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What is Nerve Release?
A nerve release is a surgical procedure that is used to treat compressed nerves in the human body. Nerves may become compressed because of an injury, non-congenital or congenital medical conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. Some common nerve procedures are:

  • Ulnar Nerve Release Surgery
  • Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
  • Tarsal Tunnel Release Surgery
  • Suprascapular Nerve Release Surgery


Who Needs Ulnar Nerve Release?
Nerve Release surgical procedures are recommended to patients:

  • Diagnosed with a compressed nerve problem such as Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Are experiencing symptoms of nerve compression like pain, numbness, muscle cramps, and arm-fatigue.
  • Non-invasive treatments have failed to treat the condition.
  • Symptoms are worsening despite the use of continual use of non-invasive treatment.


Nerve damage is a critical health issue. Compressed nerves can damage adjoining muscles, and in some cases, it even poses risks of paralysis. It should be treated immediately.

How Is It Performed?
Nerve Release surgeries can be performed as:

  1. Open Nerve Release Surgery.
  2. Endoscopic/Arthroscopic Nerve Release Surgery.

Open Nerve Release surgery is the conventional method; it is performed by making an incision and cutting through the ligament to free the trapped nerve. In case of Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery, the incision is made on the wrist; in case of Ulnar Nerve Release Surgery, the incision is  is made at the edge of the elbow; and in case of Tarsal Tunnel Release Surgery the incision is made behind the ankles down to the arch of the foot.

Endoscopic Nerve Release surgery is a modern variation of nerve release surgery. It is a minimally invasive procedure in which the surgeon makes two or three small incisions. The incisions are less half an inch long.

An endoscope (camera) is inserted through one incision, and a cannula is passed through another. Small instruments are passed through the cannula to stretch the ligament and free the nerve. Experts recommend open surgery over endoscopic surgery because:

  • Endoscopic surgery may damage adjoining tissue and muscles.
  • It increases the risk of complications.


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How Long Does It Take to Recover From Ulnar Nerve Surgery?

  • After Ulnar nerve release surgery, the elbow will be placed in a splint to hold it in a bent position.
  • You will have to wear a splint for two to four weeks.
  • Full recovery time varies from patient to patient; on average, it takes from three to six months.

Is Ulnar Nerve Surgery Painful?

  • No, the surgery itself is not painful as it is performed under anesthesia.
  • Pain and discomfort are expected post-op, which can be easily controlled by medications.

What Does a Pinched Nerve Feel Like in Elbow?

  • A pinched nerve in the elbow causes weakness in the hand along with:
    • Numbness or tingling in the hand specially in the ring and little finger.
    • Cold sensitivity in the hand and arm.

Will Ulnar Nerve Entrapment Go Away?

  • Some conservative treatments are found to be effective against ulnar nerve entrapment; however, they may not work if the condition is chronic.
  • Untreated ulnar nerve entrapment can cause permanent consequences it not treated, including paralysis and loss of feeling in the affected arm or hand.
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