What are possible complications of surgical decompression of the ulnar nerve for treatment of ulnar neuropathy?

Updated: Jun 08, 2018
  • Author: Charles F Guardia, III, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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The creation of a new compressive site at the time of surgery can occur with any of the decompressive methods. [187, 188] Injury to the posterior branches of the medial antebrachial cutaneous nerves at dissection is common. This nerve laceration results in loss of sensibility in an area of skin posterior and distal to the incision. Some patients develop a resultant dysesthesia in the nerve distribution; others develop an amputation neuroma.

Recurrent ulnar nerve subluxation and elbow instability can result from damage to the elbow collateral ligaments. [189] A postoperative flexion contracture can occur, most commonly following a submuscular transposition; it is seen after 5-10% of submuscular transpositions. Medial epicondylitis can occur from detachment of the flexor-pronator mass or as a result of a medial epicondylectomy. In addition, the symptoms may recur after an incomplete anterior transposition. Infection can occur with any surgical procedure.

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