Can you palpate the ulnar artery?

Yes, you can palpate the ulnar artery.

The ulnar artery is very close to the medial epicondyle and the medial head of the triceps.

You can feel the artery more easily when you press on the medial epicondyle.

How can you tell if you have an ulnar artery injury?

You can tell if you have an ulnar artery injury based on the symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of ulnar artery injury

When you have an ulnar artery injury, you may have a throbbing pain in the medial aspect of your elbow.

You may also have:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Difficulty with movement at the medial epicondyle

You may have numbness or weakness in your hand or fingers if you have a nerve injury.

What is the treatment for an ulnar artery injury?

Treatment for an ulnar artery injury depends on the type of injury.

If the injury is an “arterial” injury, you may need surgery to repair the artery.

If the injury is a “fractional” injury, you may need surgery to repair the ulnar nerve.

In some cases, there may not be enough blood flow to the ulnar nerve.

If you have a nerve injury, a nerve graft may be an option.

When possible, you may be able to avoid surgery.

For instance, if there is no blood flow to the ulnar nerve, a repair surgery may be safer.

In some cases, the ulnar nerve may need to be partially or totally removed.

In some patients, the ulnar nerve injury may heal with time.

It’s important to continue to follow up with your doctor.

How do you manage an ulnar artery injury?

In some cases, you may need to use a splint or a splint-like device, such as an elbow brace.

You may also need to use a splint or other device to help you keep the injured elbow still.

If there’s not enough blood flow to the ulnar nerve, you may need to use a splint or other device to keep the elbow still.

You’ll also need to use splints to help keep the elbow in place until you see your doctor.

For instance, you might need to wear a splint for a day or two to help keep the elbow in place while you’re waiting for your doctor to see you.

How can you prevent an ulnar artery injury?

You can’t prevent every ulnar artery injury.

However, some things you can do to help reduce your risk of having an ulnar artery injury in the future:

  • Keep your elbow in a neutral position.
  • Keep your elbow slightly bent.
  • Don’t hyperextend your elbow.
  • Don’t overstretch your elbow.
  • Don’t lift heavy boxes.
  • Avoid activities that put a lot of pressure on your elbow.

What is the long-term outlook for an ulnar artery injury?

If you have an ulnar artery injury, it’s important to follow up with your doctor.

You may need surgery to repair the ulnar artery if you have an “arterial” injury.

If the ulnar nerve injury is severe, surgery may not be an option.

However, if the injury is a “fractional” or “interval” injury, you may need surgery.

This is why it’s important to follow up with your doctor if you have a nerve injury.

Follow up with your doctor at least once a year.

For instance, you’ll need to see your doctor every six months for an “annual exam.”

Your doctor will want to monitor you for any problems with your ulnar nerve.

They’ll also want to monitor any swelling.

It’s important to keep an eye on any swelling in your elbow.

If there’s swelling, you may need to use a splint or other device to keep the elbow still.

If there’s no swelling, you may be able to remove the splint.

How long does an ulnar artery injury take to recover?

If you have an ulnar artery injury, you’ll likely need to make a full recovery.

However, it may take several months or longer before you can put weight on your elbow.

If the ulnar nerve is affected, it may take a little longer to recover.

You may also have pain and swelling in your elbow for a while.

Although you may not be able to put weight on your elbow for a while, you should be able to do most things that you normally take for granted.

For instance, you should be able to:

  • Walk without any pain
  • Carry bags of groceries
  • Walk uphill
  • Perform other normal activities

You should be able to move your elbow into “home” position by the time you feel ready to return to normal activities.

It’s important to keep an eye on the swelling in your elbow.

If the swelling gets worse, you should make an appointment with your doctor.

When should you call your doctor?

If you have an ulnar artery injury, it’s important to call your doctor as soon as you can.

You should call your doctor as soon as you feel any symptoms of an ulnar artery injury.

This is especially important if you can’t put weight on your elbow or if there’s any swelling.

Your doctor can examine your injury and make sure that it’s not getting worse.

They can also determine if there’s any damage to your ulnar nerve.

Your doctor will also want to monitor your swelling.

If there’s swelling, they’ll want to make sure that you don’t put too much pressure on your elbow.

If there’s no swelling, they’ll want to remove the splint or other device that you’ve been using to keep your elbow in place.

How do you treat an ulnar artery injury?

Most ulnar artery injuries can be treated with splinting.

For instance, you may need to wear a splint for a few days to help keep your elbow in place.

For instance, you may need to wear a splint for a day or two to help keep the elbow in place while you’re waiting for your doctor to see you.

Key takeaways

An ulnar artery injury is an injury that occurs when the ulnar artery gets compressed.

If the ulnar nerve is injured, it can cause pain and swelling in your elbow.

An ulnar artery injury can also cause numbness or weakness in your fingers.

Images by Freepik

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