How To Fix Snapping Elbow (Ulnar Displacement Injury)

Ever feel a “snap” in your elbow while you’re working out or bending your arms during daily activities?

You may be suffering from Ulnar nerve dislocation Ulnar nerve dislocation is a common cause of pain and or prickling sensation that is usually felt down the are and in the hands.

It occurs if the ulnar nerve dislocates slightly (subluxates) over the anterior aspect of the medial epicondyle during flexion and extension of the elbow. A "snap" may be heard or felt.

The ulnar nerve is one of the arm’s major nerves and is part of the brachial plexus nerve system. It gets its name from its location near the ulna bone, a bone in the forearm on the side of the pinkie finger. It starts in the neck and travels through the shoulder down the arm into the wrist and fingers.

It provides sensation to the forearm and the fourth and fifth finger. It also innervates (stimulates) the flexor muscles of the hand, allowing it to bend and move.

The single most common cause is compression on the ulnar nerve. The compression may be a result of any of the following:

1️⃣ An activity that causes a person to bend and straighten the elbow joint repeatedly (ex. shoulder presses)

2️⃣ The ulnar nerve slipping out of place when the elbow is bent

3️⃣ Fluid buildup in the elbow

4️⃣ Current or previous injury to the inside of the elbow

5️⃣ Bone spurs in the elbow

6️⃣ Arthritis in the elbow or wrist

7️⃣ Swelling in the elbow or wrist joint

8️⃣ Leaning on the elbow for an extended period

In this video, SNU's clinic direct, Ceazar (@ceazarsnu), describes what Ulnar nerve dislocation is, goes over ways you can treat it at home and how we typically treat the injury in our clinics.

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