Aug 11

CubitalTunnelLogo I was diagnosed with cubital tunnel syndrome 3 years ago.  My symptoms were considered "moderate": measurable loss of nerve conduction, moderate to severe pain at times, slight numbness, some weakness, but no atrophy.  I had been attempting conservative treatment, including wearing a splint at night, wrist brace during the day, exercises, special computer keyboard and mouse, and pain medication. 

But the pain wouldn’t go away, especially while using the computer, which is my job as a software developer.  So my doctor finally decided it was time for surgery, and given that my symptoms were not yet severe, he recommended ulnar decompression surgery.  This article describes my experience with ulnar decompression surgery for cubital tunnel syndrome.

Read the rest of this article at

Image: "Cubital Thinker" Copyright © 2008 Tiwebb, Ltd.

Apr 08

Cubital tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a repetitive stress injury (RSI) that can result in moderate to severe pain and numbness in the elbow and ring & little fingers. Last year I wrote the article “Programmer’s Nightmare: Cubital Tunnel Syndrome” about my pain and struggles with CTS and how it threatens my programming career.

As people started commenting on the article, a small community developed. I was impressed at how people would share their CTS tips and experiences, commiserate with each other’s pain, and genuinely care about one another.

So with the help of Tim Perez, we built, a site dedicated to CTS that includes an online community where people can share and discuss their cubital tunnel challenges and successes.

Please visit

Nov 27

For the disabled PC user, every mouse click and keystroke can be a major effort or literal pain.  So disabled users will often go to great lengths to automate repetitive tasks and minimize the steps required to perform each task.  This includes the use of macros, voice recognition, mouse and keyboard utilities, and special hardware such as head-controlled mice and programmable button boards.

But in spite of these efforts, disabled PC users are often confounded by all-too-common problems found in today’s Windows and Web applications. 

Following are 20 problems with PC software that may be minor nits for many users but can be a huge problem for the disabled.  These are presented in no particular order, as each problem’s severity depends on the situation and individual.

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Aug 02

Update: We have launched a new website and forums dedicated to people with cubital tunnel syndrome:

No programmers were harmed during development of this article.

(Not true… my cubital hurts like mad today!)

A programming career is supposed to offer advantages such as longevity and limited physical risk. Unlike an athlete or blue-collar worker whose livelihood depends on physical ability and can be cut short by injury or aging, most programmers should expect to work right up until retirement, as long as they can raise donut to mouth. But a nasty secret in the software industry is how repetitive stress injuries including carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome can make programming a literal pain and threaten your career.

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