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Cubital Tunnel Surgery...Update

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I’m now post surgery, a little over 2 months. I have cubital tunnel in both arms. I had surgery back in June for the right arm...still have the left yet...

I kept the photo really small because it still ain't pretty. If you are the curious sort, click it and it will enlarge.  After the healing process, I'm hoping the scar will be about 6 inches.

I have all my fine motors back, full ROM, no cramping, no real pain, the surgery site still feels a little tight;  I can place it down on a hard surface and not come unglued but I normally use a gel pad. 

My elbow joint still bothers it pressed on, I still have a slight bruise there. Very little numbness, it comes and goes.  If I ice it, the numbness will fade quickly. I still have a lot of swelling if I don’t wear my compression sleeve (as you can see in the pic, I had it off for too long ).  I still have to ice several times a day, depending on how much I bend my elbow.

I don’t have the strength back fully but I’m working on it, my arm tires much faster than before surgery.  My issues main issues are swelling, a little achy, and vibration (driving, dremels, vacuum, blow dryer). Under the suture line, which is tender, I have a couple areas that are lumpy but that is fading with massage. I changed docs recently and he’d be doing the next surgery on the left.

I’m not back to work on the torch, not until I get the left elbow done…most likely, I will never be able to go back to the torch.   All-in-all, I’m glad I had the surgery but I’m not looking forward to the next surgery though.   

Normally I wouldn't take photos nor do this big of an update on my health but...I looked all over the Internet for people that had the surgery but didn't find many.  So I'm sharing to help the next person.  So let me be blunt here, the surgery isn't bad but the post op recovery hurts like a son of's a long, boring recovery.

BTW, what I had done was a right ulnar nerve compression at the cubital tunnel...or it is also called in situ decompression.  A carpal tunnel release is one decompression.  An in situ is five I had part of a muscle removed.

Full recovery for is procedure is 6-12 months start feeling human (or I did) about 6-7 weeks. It sometimes up to 2 years because the ulnar nerve grows back very slowly and is very unforgiving.

I will be back blogging in the near future...until then...

Later Gators,
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cindy said...

wow, it's a long recovery time. Do you really need the other one done too? I'd hate to have to have 2 surgeries such as these. Keep up the recovery!

Moon Stumpp said...

Yeah, I do need to have the left done...I'm losing my grip and it's always numb. TY, I will be back

Peter said...

I had the same surgery on March 6, 2013. I am now a little over 3 months into recovery and I agree this totally stinks. Like you my other arm is in need of surgery. I got back my full range of motion quite quickly and was lifting things and using it a lot pain free until a month ago. My surgeon said I could not wreck it and to do whatever I wanted with it. I feel this was bad advice and I should have listen to the OT who advised a more gentle approach. I am so scared that I did permanent damage. I am now only using it lightly and lifting no more than a couple of pounds. I still have pain, perhaps a bit better than a month ago. If you could PLEASE let me know how your recovery went for this arm and possibly your other, I would much appreciate it. Thank you so much for sharing! I miss being able to do things.

Moon Stumpp said...

Hi Peter, I tried to get a hold of you via email and it work via Blogger. Anyway, I didn't have the other arm done it. I'm now a year out and it's much better. I'm painting, doing photography, and most things. The only issue is that I am now retired from being a glass artist. You can contact me at and I'll be glad to fill you in.