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What is Ulnar Nerve Compression in Guyon’s Canal?

Ulnar nerve compression in Guyon’s canal is a condition characterised by pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling sensation in the hand. The condition occurs when the ulnar nerve, the nerve that travels across the elbow from the shoulder to the hand, is compressed as it goes from the wrist into the hand through a space known as Guyon’s canal. Ulnar nerve damage stops or slows down signals that are being sent across the nerve to the hand.

Causes of Ulnar Nerve Compression in Guyon’s Canal

Causes include:
  • Ganglion Cyst
  • Wrist fracture
  • Tumours
  • Repetitive pressure or trauma to the hand and wrist
  • Participating in certain activities, such as weightlifting and cycling
  • Jobs that require using vibrating tools such as construction work

Symptoms of Ulnar Nerve Compression in Guyon’s Canal

The common symptoms of ulnar nerve compression in Guyon’s Canal include:
  • Numbness, tingling sensations in the little and ring fingers
  • Difficulty doing complex daily tasks such as typing
  • Difficulty holding things
  • Hand Weakness
  • Clawing of the 4th and 5th digits

Diagnosing Ulnar Nerve Compression in Guyon’s Canal

When you present to the clinic with symptoms of ulnar nerve compression in Guyon’s canal, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a thorough physical examination of your elbow, wrist, and hand. Your doctor may order imaging tests such as MRI, nerve conduction tests, X-rays, CT scans, and electromyography to make a definitive diagnosis.

Treatment of Ulnar Nerve Compression in Guyon’s Canal

Your doctor may initially recommend conservative treatment options to treat the symptoms. Conservative treatment options work faster, are safer and easier to use, but may not be effective as surgery. Conservative treatment options include:
  • Medications to control and reduce pain such as over-the-counter, prescription pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Using ergonomic tools
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • To help prevent further injury and relieve symptoms, your doctor may prescribe a supportive splint or wrist brace
  • Physiotherapy, massage therapy, and occupational counselling may be suggested for maintaining muscle strength and to instruct you on changes you can make at work to relieve or prevent further pain.
If symptoms get worse, your doctor may recommend surgery. The goal of surgery is to reduce the pressure on your wrist by cutting a ligament or by removing the ganglion or cyst that is causing pressure on your wrist.
Your doctor will decide which option is best for you depending on your specific circumstances.
  • NHS
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
British Elbow & Shoulder Society
  • University of Warwick
  • Swor and D

Hospitals Attended

  • Stratford Hospital

    South Warwickshire
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Arden St, Stratford-upon-Avon,
    CV37 6NX
    Driving Directions

    Ext 4798
  • Nuffield Health
    Warwickshire Hospital

    The Chase, Old Milverton Lane
    Leamington Spa
    CV32 6RW
    Driving Directions

  • Warwick Hospital

    South Warwickshire
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Lakin Road, Warwick,
    CV34 5BW
    Driving Directions

    Ext 4798
  • The Grafton Suite,
    Building One

    Stratford Hospital, Arden Street
    CV37 6NX
    Driving Directions

  • South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nuffield Health
The Grafton Suite - South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust