A prospective study of early tactile stimulation after digital nerve repair

Shu Kei Cheng, Leung Kim Hung, Josephine Man Wah Wong, Hudson Lau, Judy Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Forty-nine patients with 65 digital nerve injuries were randomized into two groups after nerve repair. Group 1 received early tactile stimulation and Group 2 was a control group. The patients were assessed prospectively for 6 months for recovery of functional sensibility. Tactile stimulation in Group 1 was provided from 3 weeks after nerve repair with a specially designed rotating tactile stimulator and a pocket tactile stimulator. Constant two-point discrimination, moving two-point discrimination, and cutaneous pressure threshold were measured and sensibility was graded with the Medical Research Council (UK) sensibility grading. At 6 months, 68.8% of patients in Group 1 had a Medical Research Council grading of S3+ or S4 sensibility compared with 36% in Group 2. With this prospective randomized study, the value of sensory reeducation in improving sensibility after digital nerve injury was confirmed. Starting tactile stimulation from the early postoperative period is recommended; however, use of the rotating tactile stimulator and pocket tactile stimulation need additional study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Issue number384
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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