Radial tunnel syndrome - Elbow Injuries

What is radial tunnel syndrome?

Radial tunnel syndrome occurs when the radial nerve becomes suppressed or trapped; this nerve runs down the forearm and is responsible for controlling movements in the hand, fingers and wrist. Radial tunnel syndrome is commonly mistaken for tennis elbow; tennis elbow usually results in pain much closer to the elbow that radial tunnel syndrome.

Causes of radial tunnel syndrome

There are many possible causes of radial tunnel syndrome; these include trauma, bone tumours and synovitis (swelling of the synovial membrane) of the elbow joint.

Symptoms of radial tunnel syndrome

Common symptoms of radial tunnel syndrome include pain around or near the elbow, which is usually a dull and prolonged ache. Other symptoms include pain in the forearms during movements, tenderness surrounding the elbow and a lack of strength in the hand.

Treatment for radial tunnel syndrome

Treatment usually involves a combination of rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication; sometimes the elbow may be immobilised to allow it time to recover and heal; this is usually achieved by a splint. In extreme cases where the symptoms persist, surgery may be carried out.

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