Complete dislocation of the ulnar nerve at the elbow: A protective effect against neuropathy?

A. Arturo Leis, Benn E. Smith, Heidi E. Kosiorek, Gregor Omejec, Simon Podnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: Recurrent complete ulnar nerve dislocation has been perceived as a risk factor for development of ulnar neuropathy at the elbow (UNE). However, the role of dislocation in the pathogenesis of UNE remains uncertain. Methods: We studied 133 patients with complete ulnar nerve dislocation to determine whether this condition is a risk factor for UNE. In all, the nerve was palpated as it rolled over the medial epicondyle during elbow flexion. Results: Of 56 elbows with unilateral dislocation, UNE localized contralaterally in 17 elbows (30.4%) and ipsilaterally in 10 elbows (17.9%). Of 154 elbows with bilateral dislocation, 26 had UNE (16.9%). Complete dislocation decreased the odds of having UNE by 44% (odds ratio=0.475; P= 0.028), and was associated with less severe UNE (P=0.045). Conclusions: UNE occurs less frequently and is less severe on the side of complete dislocation. Complete dislocation may have a protective effect on the ulnar nerve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMuscle and Nerve
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


  • Nerve conduction studies
  • Subluxation
  • Surgery
  • Ulnar nerve dislocation
  • Ulnar nerve hypermobility
  • Ulnar neuropathy at the elbow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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