Also called ulnar nerve compression syndrome, this condition is caused by compression (pinching) of the ulnar nerve as it passes through the cubital tunnel in the arm (elbow). This will produce numbness in the ring and little finger.

Ulnar nerve in the hand and area of sensation
Numbness in the ring and little fingers may be explained by a compressed ulnar nerve. This condition is called cubital tunnel syndrome, or ulnar nerve compression syndrome.

In severe cases, weakness of the hand muscles and the wrist flexor on the side of the arm may be present.


Cubital tunnel syndrome is not as common as carpal tunnel syndrome, and generally does not require surgical intervention.

See also Carpal Tunnel Syndrome vs. Cervical Radiculopathy


Numbness commonly occurs at night and is related to the position of the arm.

  • Sleeping with the elbow flexed will raise the pressure in the cubital tunnel three times more than normal, and sleeping with the hands behind the head will raise the pressure seven times more than normal.
  • Straightening out the arm will relieve the numbness, and sleeping with the arm out straight helps avoid hand numbness at night.

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