Subcutaneous vs Submuscular Ulnar Nerve Transposition in Moderate Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Dhia A.K Jaddue1, Salwan A Saloo2, Arkan S Sayed-Noor*, 3
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Al-Kindy Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Al-Wasity Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq
3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sundsvall Hospital, Sundsvall, Sweden

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© Jaddue et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sundsvall Hospital, Sundsvall, Sweden; Tel: +46 739 688 466; Fax: +46 60 181751; E-mail:



The surgical treatment of Cubital tunnel syndrome (CubTS) is still a matter of debate. No consensus exists about the necessity of anterior transposition of the ulnar nerve after decompression. However, this technique is fairly common in clinical practice.

Material and Methodology:

In the present study we compared the operative technique (incision length, operative time), postoperative care (postoperative pain and complications) and the outcome between subcutaneous transposition and submuscular transposition of the ulnar nerve as two surgical modalities in treating moderate CubTS.

Between March 2004 and March 2007, twenty six patients with moderate CubTS (according to Dellon’s grading system) were stratified according to age and gender into these two surgical techniques. The two groups were prospectively followed up 2 weeks, 6 months and 12 months postoperatively by the same observer and the operation outcome was assessed using the Bishop rating system.


We found that the subcutaneous transposition of the ulnar nerve was associated with shorter incision, shorter operative time, less postoperative pain, less postoperative complication and better outcome compared with the submuscular transposition.


The authors recommend the subcutaneous technique when considering anterior transposition of the ulnar nerve in treating moderate CubTS.

Keywords: Subcutaneous transposition, submuscular transposition, cubital tunnel, ulnar nerve, outcome.