Post-op rehabilitation program for ulnar nerve decompression at the elbow

Problem: ulnar nerve entrapment with pain, decreased sensation and weakness

Aim: to release nerve, decrease pain, improve sensation and weakness

Important points: wean out of sling by day 2 if possible

Forbidden:

  • heavy activities or heavy work before 3 weeks

Expectations:

  • return to desk jobs at 5-10 days
  • driving from end of week one (if pain and function allows safe driving)
  • breaststroke swimming at 3 weeks
  • all activities by 6 weeks

Physiotherapy protocol day 1 onwards:

  • Ensure adequate pain relief, neurovascular status normal and no signs of infection
  • Full active movement of shoulder, wrist and hand
  • Active assisted flexion, extension, pronation and supination within comfort zone

Physiotherapy protocol day 3 onwards:

  • Removal of bulky dressing
  • Begin active flexion, extension, pronation and supination within comfort zone

Physiotherapy protocol day 14 onwards:

  • Aim for full range of movement

Click to download the PDF