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Nerve entrapment and compression syndromes of the elbow.

Summary of "Nerve entrapment and compression syndromes of the elbow."

Nerve compression and entrapment syndromes are classic examples of the integrated role of radiologists and clinicians in achieving difficult but accurate diagnoses. The pathology of nerves can only be understood after evaluating the normal architecture and imaging characteristics of nerves. Understanding the correlation of the pathophysiology of nerve compromise with electromyographic findings and imaging findings allows for greater comprehension of a difficult topic. Particularly in the elbow, there are multiple potential areas of nerve entrapment and compression that can be evaluated perhaps best with magnetic resonance imaging.

Affiliation

Department of Radiology and Imaging, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Seminars in musculoskeletal radiology
ISSN: 1098-898X
Pages: 438-48

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Mechanical compression of nerves or nerve roots from internal or external causes. These may result in a conduction block to nerve impulses (due to MYELIN SHEATH dysfunction) or axonal loss. The nerve and nerve sheath injuries may be caused by ISCHEMIA; INFLAMMATION; or a direct mechanical effect.

Conditions in which increased pressure within a limited space compromises the BLOOD CIRCULATION and function of tissue within that space. Some of the causes of increased pressure are TRAUMA, tight dressings, HEMORRHAGE, and exercise. Sequelae include nerve compression (NERVE COMPRESSION SYNDROMES); PARALYSIS; and ISCHEMIC CONTRACTURE.

Compression of the ULNAR NERVE in the cubital tunnel, which is formed by the two heads of the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle, humeral-ulnar aponeurosis, and medial ligaments of the elbow. This condition may follow trauma or occur in association with processes which produce nerve enlargement or narrowing of the canal. Manifestations include elbow pain and PARESTHESIA radiating distally, weakness of ulnar innervated intrinsic hand muscles, and loss of sensation over the hypothenar region, fifth finger, and ulnar aspect of the ring finger. (Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1995, Ch51, p43)

Ulnar neuropathies caused by mechanical compression of the nerve at any location from its origin at the BRACHIAL PLEXUS to its terminations in the hand. Common sites of compression include the retroepicondylar groove, cubital tunnel at the elbow (CUBITAL TUNNEL SYNDROME), and Guyon's canal at the wrist. Clinical features depend on the site of injury, but may include weakness or paralysis of wrist flexion, finger flexion, and ulnar innervated intrinsic hand muscles, and impaired sensation over the ulnar aspect of the hand, fifth finger, and ulnar half of the ring finger. (Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1995, Ch51, p43)

A major nerve of the upper extremity. The fibers of the musculocutaneous nerve originate in the lower cervical spinal cord (usually C5 to C7), travel via the lateral cord of the brachial plexus, and supply sensory and motor innervation to the upper arm, elbow, and forearm.

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