The truth about living with Rheumatoid Arthritis


Cubital Tunnel Surgery Update

It is almost two months since my cubital tunnel surgery, and while there is still time for improvement, I have had mixed results.

My right hand is improving. I have better grip strength, smoother movement through all fingers, and I can use the hand for longer before fatiguing out.  I still drop things regularly, so I still need to be mindful and focus on making sure I really do have something gripped properly. I have some numbness and pins and needles still, but they aren’t constant and there is minimal nerve pain.

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Cubital Tunnel surgery two week review

right-armIt’s almost two weeks since my cubital tunnel surgery, nerve transposition on both elbows, and I’ve recovered very well.  I’m really quite good with physical stuff, it’s the emotional stuff that I’m hopeless at.  I haven’t forgotten that.  The worst part of this surgery was most definitely my histrionics before the surgery.  But that’s part of a much bigger problem that I’m working on and fodder for another post.


Every surgery, and every body, is different.  Therefore every person will recover at a different pace, and will feel a different degree of pain.  I need to remember that, as everyone does. Some very well intentioned people warned me not to get both arms done at once. My surgeon herself said she does it rarely and only in select cases, but she was confident I would cope.  And I am very glad that I had both arms done together. One surgery, one anesthetic, one anesthetists bill and one hospital bill.

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Surgery and the truth about why I hate it

I lied.

It’s not the surgery. It’s not the anesthetic.  It’s the last surgery I had. A simple gall bladder removal. 24 hours post op I was back in the ER with complications. From a simple gall bladder removal.  They thought I had a perforated bowel.  They transferred me by ambulance from the small local hospital to the major hospital at 4am for emergency surgery.  They told me it was very serious and asked me repeatedly who they should call.  Over and over. Who can we call for you.  That ambulance ride was terrifying.  I have never felt so alone and scared in my life.

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It can’t be that bad, why are you having surgery? (cubital tunnel syndrome)

“Well it can’t be that bad, if you’ve been putting up with it for more than two years.  Why are you bothering with the surgery?”

Yes, this was just said to me by someone near and dear.  They seem to think I’m having surgery for fun.  Even though I’m pretty clear about what a huge chicken (and I do mean huge) I am about anesthetic, and how much surgery is NOT fun.

They’re questioning how it got so bad.  In a disbelieving way.  As in, it can’t be that bad. You’re exaggerating.

I’m not.

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Ulnar Nerve Entrapment or Cubital Tunnel Syndrome and Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

trapped nerveCubital Tunnel Syndrome is a condition where the Ulnar nerve is compressed at the elbow, and no longer moves freely through the cubital tunnel.  The cubital tunnel is formed by muscle, ligament and bone at the elbow, and normally the ulnar nerve passes freely through it and supplies feeling to the little finger and half the ring finger.  It controls the muscle that pulls the thumb into the palm and controls the small muscles of the hand.

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