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Elbow trauma in an auto accident can result in ulnar nerve entrapment, even if the accident was a minor one. If the injury goes untreated, there can be long-lasting complications. In order to avoid this, it’s important to know the common signs of ulnar nerve entrapment after a collision.

What is Ulnar Nerve Entrapment?

Ulnar nerve entrapment, also called cubital tunnel syndrome, can be the result of trauma to the elbow area. The ulnar nerve runs from the neck to the hand and, controls the muscles in the forearm and hand, and provides sensation to the little finger and part of the ring finger. When the nerve is entrapped or compressed, it can result in a variety of symptoms. These are some common signs of ulnar nerve entrapment after a collision.

Pain and Tingling

One of the most common and earliest signs of ulnar nerve entrapment is pain and tingling on the inner forearm, ring, and little fingers. This sensation of “pins and needles” can be persistent or come and go. Elbow pain is also common. The pain can feel like a dull ache or present as sharp and shooting, particularly if the elbow is bent for long periods of time, as when typing.

Weakness in Grip Strength

Ulnar nerve entrapment can lead to weakness in the hand on the affected side and impact grip strength. Sufferers may have difficulty holding objects or performing tasks like buttoning a shirt or putting on earrings that require fine motor skills. This loss of grip strength may worsen over time, particularly if not treated.

Difficulty with Coordination

Because the ulnar nerve controls the hand muscles, those suffering from ulnar nerve entrapment may experience clumsiness and difficulty with coordination. Things like typing or using small tools that require precision may become difficult.

Numbness in the Fingers

As the condition progresses, sufferers may develop numbness in the ring and little fingers. The sensation can go from the fingertips up through the hand and forearm. The collision may have caused swelling or inflammation around the ulnar nerve, contributing to numbness.

Worsening of Symptoms at Night

Many who have suffered ulnar nerve entrapment experience symptoms that worsen at night. This is caused by prolonged periods of elbow flexion while sleeping, leading to increased pressure on the ulnar nerve. Pain, tingling, and numbness can interrupt sleep, which can negatively impact one’s quality of life.

Muscle Atrophy

In extreme cases, chronic compression of the ulnar nerve can lead to muscle atrophy in the hand. The muscles controlled by the ulnar nerve may visibly shrink, which contributes to a loss of hand strength and dexterity. Muscle atrophy is more likely to happen if the ulnar nerve compression goes untreated for an extended period of time.

Difficulty Straightening the Ring and Little Fingers

Those experiencing ulnar nerve entrapment may have difficulty straightening their ring and little fingers. This condition is known as “ulnar claw,” when the fingers appear partially flexed at the joints. 

What to Do if You Suspect Ulnar Nerve Entrapment After a Collision in Florida

The decisions you make after being involved in a car accident can impact your current and future health and any personal injury claims you may make. Take these steps if you suspect you’ve suffered ulnar nerve entrapment after a collision.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

If you think you may be suffering from ulnar nerve entrapment after a collision, see a doctor as soon as you can. A doctor may order imaging studies to diagnose ulnar nerve entrapment and recommend the appropriate treatment, which may include rest, wearing a splint, physical therapy, or surgery to release the compressed nerve. Seeking early intervention can help reduce or alleviate symptoms and prevent a worsening of symptoms.

Document Symptoms

Keep a list of the symptoms you’re experiencing, including how often, how severe, and what, if any, movements or activities make symptoms worse and are being impacted. These kinds of records are important if you intend to make a personal injury claim in the future.

Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer

Seeking the advice of a lawyer if you have suffered ulnar nerve entrapment from a collision is critical. Though Florida is a no-fault state, you may be entitled to bring a personal injury claim against the responsible parties. 

Our legal team has over 40 years of experience seeking justice for our clients who have been the victims of car accidents. We’ve seen the results of untreated injuries, which can be devastating, and is why you should never ignore pain after an accident. 

Our attorneys have sought and won millions of dollars for our injured clients. Don’t allow your health and legal rights to go unaddressed after a car accident. 

Call 850-601-1111 to schedule a complimentary consultation with no obligations. This consultation will help you explore your legal options. Let us help you fight for fair compensation.

Author Photo

Jaeson continued his studies at Florida State University College of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctorate in 2011. Throughout his law school career, Jaeson regularly volunteered his time at Florida Legal Services, where he assisted with several projects aimed at advancing the rights of low-income families in Florida. Jaeson has recovered millions of dollars from individuals for his clients. For his efforts, Jaeson was inducted in 2016 into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. At the time of his induction, he was one of the youngest attorneys in the State of Florida to be inducted.

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