The authors report their experience with endoscopic cubital tunnel release in 35 patients. All patients had electrophysiological evidence of ulnar nerve compression at the elbow and the ulnar nerve was reportedly stable in the cubital tunnel. The operation was performed under local anesthesia through a 1.5 cm incision. The release was limited to tissue that appeared to compress the nerve. Tingling, sensory disturbance, pain, and nerve conduction velocity measurements improved in the majority of cases at a mean follow-up period of 2 years. There were no peri-operative complications or recurrences.
Cubital tunnel decompression using an endoscope is an evolving technique. The advantages may parallel those demonstrated with endoscopic carpal tunnel release: limited tissue dissection, less pain shortly following surgery, and a more rapid return to work. However, complications are expected with an inherent technically demanding operation. Prospective clinical trials comparing this procedure with other techniques of cubital tunnel decompression are necessary to determine the indications, benefits, risks, and outcomes of each procedure.