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Ulnar nerve

The ulnar nerve is a nerve that travels from the wrist to the shoulder. This nerve is mainly responsible for movement of the hand; despite passing through the forearm, it is only responsible for one and a half muscles there. Its primary role is to provide nerve function to the hand. It is located near the skin surface of the body, particularly at the elbow. This means that general damage to the arm or elbow can cause damage to the ulnar nerve. The ulnar nerve is responsible for the pain, or 'funny bone', sensation that occurs if the elbow bone is suddenly struck. Continual pressure on the elbow or inner forearm may cause damage. Injury can also occur from elbow fractures or dislocations. Damage to the ulnar nerve causes problems with sensation and mobility in the wrist and the hand. In a patient with ulnar nerve damage, some of the fingers may become locked into a flexed position. This is sometimes nicknamed "claw hand." Wrist movement is also often observed to be weaker with damaged ulnar nerves. 

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Ulnar nerve

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