Evaluation of sensibility after sensory reconstruction of the thumb.


We have studied the restoration of sensation in 24 patients after operations involving the digital nerves of the thumb. These comprised 10 neurorrhaphies, two nerve graftings, five replantations, one toe-to-thumb transfer and six neurovascular island flaps. The average follow-up period was 46 months. Greater sensitivity was found in the moving two-point discrimination (2PD) test than in the static 2PD test. The results of the Semmes-Weinstein test showed good correlation with the static 2PD test. Porter's letter test showed correlations with both 2PD tests, and the pulp-writing test showed good correlation with the moving 2PD test. The neurorrhaphy cases had the best results using the static 2PD and Semmes-Weinstein test, and had good restoration of sensation; the replantation cases were next best. After neurovascular island flaps, patients exhibited hypersensitivity, double sensation and distorted images on the pulp-writing test. Using this same test the nerve grafting cases had distorted touch perception and perceived a straight line as a curve. The pulp-writing test, using moving touch, is one method of examining mechanoreceptors and shows to what extent the patient perceives what touches the finger pulp; it gives a better indication of higher functions than the 2PD test.

Cite this paper

@article{Hirasawa1985EvaluationOS, title={Evaluation of sensibility after sensory reconstruction of the thumb.}, author={Yasusuke Hirasawa and Yukinori Katsumi and T . Tokioka}, journal={The Journal of bone and joint surgery. British volume}, year={1985}, volume={67 5}, pages={814-9} }