Exploration of the cubital nerve, 1881.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Illustration by Gilbert, plate taken from 'La Nature' (Paris, 1881) edited by Gaston Tisandier, showing a doctor stimulating the cubital nerve of a woman patient with a steel-nibbed quill, causing the contraction of three fingers. The cubital, or ulnar, nerve is one of the three major nerves in the arm. The point where the nerve croses the elbow bone is what is commonly known as the 'funny bone'. Friction or presure on the nerve at this point gives rise to a condition known as cubital tunnel syndrome, characterised by pain in the elbow, tingling and numbnes in the little and ring fingers, and posibly muscle weaknes in the forearm.