Tinel’s Sign at Elbow is an elbow examination procedure that tests for the presence of ulnar compressive neuropathy. It is a general term for an assessment test for irritated nerves using percussion tapping or the use of a reflex hammer. 


Patient should be awake and cooperative to perform the Tinel’s Sign at Elbow exam.

  1. Patient should be seated during the procedure.
  2. The examiner locates the cubital tunnel (the area or groove between the olecranon process and the lateral epicondyle.
  3. After locating the area, he uses his fingertips or reflex hammer to tap the area.
  4. The examiner checks for the patient’s response. He takes note of any pain described as shooting electrical pain.

Examiner taps the cubital tunnel with his fingertips.


Positive Tinel’s Sign at Elbow Test

There is positive Tinel’s Sign at Elbow when the patient complains of sharp and shooting electrical pain over the medial side of the forearm to the medial hand. This sign indicates the presence of ulnar compressive neuropathy.

Clinical Notes

Tinel’s Sign may be used over the radial nerve by  tapping the groove between the lateral epicondyle and olecrtanon. Another name for Tinel’s Sign at Elbow is distal tingling on percussion or DTP.