Original article| Volume 21, ISSUE 6, P691-695, June 2005

Endoscopic Release of the Ulnar Nerve at the Elbow Using the Agee Device: A Cadaveric Study

      Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of the Agee endoscopic system (3M, Orthopedic Products, St. Paul, MN) for ulnar nerve decompression at the elbow. Type of Study: A cadaveric study. Methods: The ulnar nerve was identified through a 3-cm longitudinal incision between the medial epicondyle and olecranon. A release of the ulnar nerve was performed with the Agee device under endoscopic magnification. A complete open assessment of the ulnar nerve, its branching, and structures divided was performed under loupe magnification. Results: In all 6 cadaveric specimens, the arcade of Struthers, the cubital tunnel retinaculum, and the flexor carpi ulnaris aponeurosis were completely divided. In all specimens, the ulnar nerve and all motor and capsular branches were preserved. Conclusions: This study has demonstrated that the Agee endoscopic ulnar nerve decompression at the elbow is both safe and effective in a cadaveric model. Clinical Relevance: This cadaveric study shows that a surgical decompression of the ulnar nerve can be safely and effectively performed with a single endoscopic portal using the Agee device.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Arthroscopy
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Bozentka D.J.
        Cubital tunnel syndrome pathophysiology.
        Clin Orthop. 1998; 351: 90-94
        • Spinner M.
        • Kaplan E.B.
        The relationship of the ulnar nerve to the medial intermuscular septum in the arm and its clinical significance.
        Hand. 1976; 8: 239-242
        • Bartels R.H.
        • Menovsky T.
        • Van Overbeeke J.J.
        • Verhagen W.I.
        Surgical management of ulnar nerve compression at the elbow.
        J Neurosurg. 1998; 89: 722-727
        • Tsai T.M.
        • Bonczar M.
        • Tsuruta T.
        • Syed S.A.
        A new operative technique.
        Hand Clin. 1995; 11: 71-80
        • King P.B.
        • Aulicino P.L.
        The postoperative rehabilitation of the Learmonth submuscular transposition of the ulnar nerve at the elbow.
        J Hand Ther. 1990; 3: 149-156
        • Tsai T.M.
        • Chen I.C.
        • Majd M.E.
        • Lim B.H.
        Cubital tunnel release with endoscopic assistance.
        J Hand Surg Am. 1999; 24: 21-29
        • Kasdan M.L.
        Endoscopic cubital tunnel release.
        J Hand Surg Am. 1999; 24: 647
        • Nakao Y.
        • Takayama S.
        • Toyama Y.
        Cubital tunnel release with lift-type endoscopic surgery.
        Hand Surg. 2001; 6: 199-203
        • Dellon A.L.
        • MacKinnon S.E.
        Injury to the medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve during cubital tunnel surgery.
        J Hand Surg Br. 1985; 10: 33-36
        • Agee J.M.
        • McCarroll H.R.
        • Tortosa R.D.
        • Berry D.A.
        • Szabo R.M.
        • Peimer C.A.
        Endoscopic release of the carpal tunnel.
        J Hand Surg Am. 1992; 17: 987-995
        • Gonzalez M.H.
        • Lotfi P.
        • Bendre A.
        • Mandelbroyt Y.
        • Lieska N.
        The ulnar nerve at the elbow and its local branching.
        J Hand Surg Br. 2001; 26: 142-144