Cubital Tunnel?


Any tips on dealing with cubital or carpal tunnel issues? I am going to PT twice a week, but the computer keyboard, trackpad, and sometimes phone give me trouble. Thoughts, tips, or your story? If you had surgery on cubital or carpal, did it help? Did PT help?

Just trying to understand when/if I can use the computer at full capacity again.


One of the most helpful devices I used was the Trackman Marble from LogiTech. Also from Logitech, their Logitech MX Master is comfortable. The Anker vertical mouse is also comfortable.


I also for a time used the Keyboardio Model 01, which helped a lot.
While on the topic of keyboarding, switching to the Dvorak layout might be helpful. It has helped me. It’s designed so that common vowels are on the home row under the left hand, and common consonants are on the home row under the right hand. Thus, when typing you alternate hands more than you would using a QWERTY keyboard. Common letters are located closer to home row, more common letters are at your larger, stronger fingers, etc. I was never able to learn QWERTY, and wound up typing primarily with four fingers for years. Dvorak Info.

Fortunately, my symptoms aren’t so severe now, so I can get away with using Apple’s Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2, and Magic Keyboard. I keep the trackpad on the left, and occasionally use my left hand to point/click and give my right a rest.
My right hand is beginning to show symptoms, so I might be going back to one or more of the ergo devices listed above soon.


I had ulnar nerve release surgery (is that cubital tunnel?) and carpal tunnel surgery on my right wrist and elbow this past February, and the results exceeded my hopes. I’m getting the left done next month.

I had almost no pain during recovery. I did not need PT after surgery. I could do most things after a couple of weeks, although complete recovery took probably 9 months.


I have bilateral tendonitis in the wrists; most pronounced in the right hand. Several doctors mis-diagnosed the situation, and the prescribed PT aggravated the situation. I finally ended up at a orthopedist who specializes only in wrist conditions. Wrist pain is not necessarily carpal tunnel – a specialist can determine the correct course of action.

A lidocaine injection into the inflamed right hand tendon, followed by hot/cold water treatment, and nerve-glide stretching for the hand and arm, have reduced the pain to a very manageable level. It has taken a year to get to this point. I avoid surgery because the risk of infection.

A few times a day I alternate running hot water then cold water, then repeat, on my wrist for a few minutes. I take regular wrist, arm, and neck stretching breaks. And I changed to the Logitech MX Vertical mouse recommended by the orthopedist. At night I wear a wrist brace. (Do not wear a brace too tightly – what seems like relief can instead cause pressure on the tendons, that aggravates the condition.)



Heh, I’ve had the ulnar surgery, too.

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JohnAtl had some really useful things to say-- yes to the DVORAK layout.

I did not realize the joy of tying on a good ergonomic, split keyboard till recently. There is considerably less strain on my wrists with a split and tented keyboard.It is almost as if the words are flowing from my fingers with the ultimate hacking keyboard with Kahil Brown keyswitches vs my previous, durable, dependable,unicomp keyboard. The click of the Unicomp keyboard reminded my of typing on the IBM model M of my youth.What I did not appreciate was the force it took to hit the buckling spring keys and the cost of the accumulated keystrokes.

As much as I like the trackpad on my Mac Book Air, I find that the magic trackpad (first version) seems to hurt my wrists more - can’t explain why. I like using a trackball.

The last thing I would recommend, is dictation, depeding an the amount and type of writing that you do. I was a die hard fan of Dragon for Mac, right up until it was killed. I am currently using Dragon Professional V.15 on a (gasp) Windows machine. I am unsure how well dictation works with Catalina. There is always the option running Dragon with Parallels.


Yes the Cubital Tunnel is at your elbow.

I had release surgery for DeQuervain’s Tenosinovitis several years ago (cool story: I woke up during the procedure and watched part of it). I blamed the need for the surgery on Apple’s horrid ergonomics for the Magic Mouse. The best improvement for me was using either the Anker Vertical Mouse or the Logitech MX Master series (I currently use both the 2S and Vertical). Keyboarding hasn’t been an issue for me.

You woke up during surgery? Oh my word… please tell me how that is a cool story!! :smile:

Wasn’t under general anesthesia, just sedation. Woke up and the doc asked if I wanted to see it. I didn’t remember it at first, but I asked him about it when I went for my follow-up. He asked me to describe what I remembered and then said that my description was right on. Had the same doc remove a screw from my shoulder under just local anesthetic. I gave myself the general that time and passed out.

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I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome 6 months ago (nerve conduction tests & symptoms). According to my docs and what I’ve read in the medical literature, PT is not a solution for that. I’ve been wearing braces every night, because otherwise I wake up several times with numbness.

I had cortisone shots in both wrists in August, which resolved the symptoms for a few months in my dominant hand and (thus far) permanently in my non-dominant hand. Cortisone doesn’t have a great cure rate for this, but it’s less invasive than surgery and was a final “proof” that the carpal tunnel is where the worst of the nerve impingement is — and thus I’m a good candidate for surgery.

Surgery has a high rate of success, but I’m trying a round of therapy to reduce muscle adhesions because I’m seeing some symptoms in my neck, shoulder, and upper arm that may also be contributing to nerve entrapment. That therapy has been great for reducing my pain due to sciatica, so I’m guardedly hopeful.

The annoying thing is that sometimes carpal tunnel resolves on its own (after a few years), and no one knows why.

In the meantime, I’m going to spend some time this break learning how to use Catalina’s dictation efficiently on my Mac.

Good luck to my fellow sufferers!

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Something else to be aware of is focal hand dystonia. FHD affects musicians and others who perform skillful finger movements. It’s caused by an expansion of the finger representations in the motor cortex of the brain until they overlap. If you’re experiencing involuntary movement, camps, etc. it’s best to seek professional help.

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