Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Test

Use our elbow flexion test template to test for cubital tunnel syndrome in a patient. Click here for more information on the disorder, test, and more.

By Patricia Buenaventura on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

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What is a Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

, also known as the Ulnar Nerve Entrapment at the elbow, is a condition where the ulnar nerve is compressed or entrapped, resulting in distressing symptoms for the patient. Right after carpal tunnel syndrome, it is the second most common compression neuropathy in the upper extremity. If left untreated, it can lead to the patient losing the function of the affected hand or arm.

To identify if the patient’s exhibited symptoms are due to the entrapment of the ulnar nerve, patients must conduct physical examinations such as the elbow flexion test, ask for the patient’s medical history, and have them undergo further tests like nerve conduction tests, X-Ray, and EMG.

Currently, there’s no standardized template for the elbow flexion test. So, for your benefit and convenience, we’ve created an elbow flexion test template you can use as a guide, reference, and document to write down your patient’s results.

Check out this video to see how the test is performed:

Printable Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Test

Download this Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Test to accurately assess your clients.

How does it work?

Step One. Access the Template

To access and download the template, do either of the following:

  • Click the “Download Template or “Use this Template” button above
  • Search for the “Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Test” or “Elbow Flexion Test” in Carepatron’s template library on the web or our app.

Step Two. Conduct the Test

Fill out the required basic information, such as the examination date, the patient’s name, and your name. Afterward, follow the test instructions provided in our template or below. \

Here are the instructions to conduct the elbow flexion test for cubital tunnel syndrome:

  1. Have your patient in a standing or sitting position.
  2. Ask your patient to flex their elbows maximally and supinate their forearms.
  3. Afterward, ask your patient to extend the wrist fully.
  4. Have the patient hold the position for 3-5 minutes.

Step Three. Interpret the Results 

Move on with recording the patient’s results and any additional findings. Generally, patients test positive if they feel a tingling or numbness along the ulnar nerve root. 

Step Four. Do Further Testing

If they test positive, we recommend that you do further tests to confirm a diagnosis. On the other hand, if they test negative, it’s ideal that you conduct other tests to formulate a clinical impression, at the very least.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Test Example (Sample)

Check out our example of a filled-out Elbow Flexion test template or Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Test for an idea of how this assessment may look when completed. 

For an offline Cubital Tunnel Syndrome test in PDF form you can use as a reference in the future, click the sample below or the “Download Example PDF” button above. 

Download this Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Test Example (Sample) here:

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Test Example (Sample)

Scoring Guide

Obtaining a Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Score is as easy as ticking the negative or positive checkbox based on their reaction and its corresponding interpretation. 

When would you use this test? 

Practitioners should conduct a cubital tunnel syndrome assessment when the patient exhibits symptoms of the syndrome, especially if they are risk factors for developing the disorder. 

To help you out, we listed the symptoms and risk factors of patients who may have cubital tunnel syndrome. 

Symptoms:

  • Aching pain located on the inside of the elbow or the hand
  • Numbness and tingling at night or on the hand, ring, and little finger, especially when the elbow is bent
  • Weak grip and clumsiness because of muscle weakness on the affected arm and hand
  • Compromised fine motor movements of the hand and fingers

Risk Factors:

  • Patients who are over the age of 40
  • Patients who are obese
  • Those who do lean on their elbow or repetitive actions wherein their elbow is flexed for long periods at work (e.g., holding a phone/tool,  resting elbows on a hard surface like a desk, driving) 
  • Those who participate in activities with repetitive overhead throwing, like athletes
  • Those who have a prior elbow fracture or dislocation
  • Those whose elbow joint has cysts or is swelling due to fluid buildup
  • Those who have elbow arthritis or bone spurs
  • Those who had a direct blow to the inside of the elbow

Do note that the symptoms of this disorder are similar to the other disorders or conditioners. Therefore, you must do further tests before diagnosing.

Research & Evidence

As indicated by several studies, the elbow flexion test is a reliable diagnostic tool for cubital tunnel syndrome. 

Buehler and Thayer (1988) conducted a test and concluded that the elbow flexion test is a "useful, reliable, and provocative test" for diagnosing cubital tunnel syndrome. Similarly, research by Novak, Mackinnon, and Lay (1994) demonstrated that combining elbow flexion with pressure on the ulnar nerve is the most sensitive test for diagnosing the condition. 

Another study by Rosati, Spagnolli, Nesti, and Lisanti (1998) found that performing the one-minute test can aid in diagnosing ulnar nerve compression at the cubital tunnel.

However, despite the potential usefulness of the elbow flexion test, practitioners are advised to conduct further testing on patients before arriving at a conclusive diagnosis. While these studies support the efficacy of the test, it is important to consider individual patient characteristics and perform additional examinations to ensure an accurate assessment of cubital tunnel syndrome.

Why use Carepatron as your Cubital Tunnel Syndrome app?

Carepatron offers more than just access to the guide and template for the cubital tunnel syndrome test. It is also a highly regarded practice management software designed to enhance efficiency by streamlining processes and automating tasks. In addition to editing the cubital tunnel syndrome document, you can leverage the various features of our software to effectively fulfill your responsibilities, allowing you to dedicate majority of your time and effort to patient care.

Download Carepatron on your desktop or iOs/Android mobile devices, and you’ll have access to the following tools and resources for free:

  • Various downloadable, digitally editable, and printable templates in PDF form. HIPAA-compliant, secure EHR system for all your client’s medical records and your digital notes.
  • Multiple integrations to aid you with telecommunication and scheduling
  • An automated payment system you can set up for your client

Get access to these and more! Sign up on Carepatron today!

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References

Buehler, M. J., & Thayer, D. T. (1988). The elbow flexion test. A clinical test for the cubital tunnel syndrome. Clinical orthopaedics and related research, (233), 213–216.

Novak, C. B., Lee, G. W., Mackinnon, S. E., & Lay, L. (1994). Provocative testing for cubital tunnel syndrome. The Journal of hand surgery, 19(5), 817–820. https://doi.org/10.1016/0363-5023(94)90193-7

Rosati, M., Martignoni, R., Spagnolli, G., Nesti, C., & Lisanti, M. (1998). Clinical validity of the elbow flexion test for the diagnosis of ulnar nerve compression at the cubital tunnel. Acta orthopaedica Belgica, 64(4), 366–370.

Who developed Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Test?
Who developed Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Test?

Commonly asked questions

Who developed Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Test?

The one who developed Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Test or better known as the Elbow Flexion Test, is Buehler, M.J.

How to perform Cubital Tunnel Syndrome test?

One performs the Cubital Tunnel Syndrome test by simply following the instructions on the template. For a step-by-step on obtaining and using our template, refer to the “How Does it Work?” section above.

What does Cubital Tunnel Syndrome test measure?

Instead of measuring, the cubital tunnel syndrome or elbow flexion test checks if the patient’s ulnar nerve is entrapped.

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