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Ulnar nerve dysfunction

  • Alternative Names

    Neuropathy - ulnar nerve; Ulnar nerve palsy

    • Abnormal sensations in the little finger and part of the ring finger, usually on the palm side
    • Loss of coordination of the fingers
    • Numbness, decreased sensation
    • Pain
    • Tingling, burning sensation
    • Weakness of the hand

    Pain or numbness may awaken you from sleep. Activities such as tennis or golf may make the condition worse.

    Signs and tests

    A careful history of when the problem started and what you might have been doing that could have injured the nerve is important.

    An exam of the hand and wrist can reveal ulnar nerve dysfunction. Signs may include:

    • "Claw-like" deformity (in severe cases)
    • Difficulty moving the fingers
    • Wasting of the hand muscles (in severe cases)
    • Weakness of hand flexing

    Tests may be needed, depending on your history, symptoms, and findings from the physical exam. These tests may include:

    • Blood tests
    • Imaging scans
    • Nerve conduction tests
    • Recording of the electrical activity in muscles (EMG)
    • X-rays