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Endoscopic cubital tunnel decompression: state of the art
  1. Margaret W Fok1,
  2. Tyson Cobb2,
  3. Gregory Ian Bain3
  1. 1 Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  2. 2 Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand Center of Excellence, Clinton, Indiana, USA
  3. 3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Flinders University, North Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Margaret W Fok, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, Hong Kong; margaret_fok{at}


Cubital tunnel syndrome is a common compressive neuropathy of the upper limb. Surgical decompression is indicated for patients who failed conservative therapy. Decompression in situ has shown to achieve comparable outcomes as decompression with anterior transposition in idiopathic cubital tunnel syndrome. Endoscopic cubital tunnel decompression has gained popularity in recent years, as surgeons can attain decompression of the ulnar nerve along its course using a small incision. Results from randomised controlled studies and systematic reviews, comparing endoscopic with open decompression in situ, are promising. Cases in which anterior transposition of the ulnar nerve is needed, an endoscopic technique can still be used by creating an additional volar portal, for the mobilisation of ulnar nerve. Early short-term results are encouraging. Further adequately powered, prospective, preferably double-blinded, randomised study are needed.

  • orthopedic procedures
  • elbow
  • endoscopy
  • upper extremity

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  • Contributors All authors have the following: substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content. Final approval of the version published. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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