The outcome measures for patients following peripheral nerve repairs commonly include muscle strength and sensory assessments. However, no significant discussion exists on the impact of nerve injury on sensorimotor control. The objective of this longitudinal study was to explore the effects of nerve regeneration on the control of pinch force in executing functional tasks. Seven patients with digital or median nerve repairs were assessed by a custom-designed pinch device and conventional sensory tools at monthly intervals following nerve repair. These tools measured sensibility, maximum pinch strength, and anticipated pinch force adjustments to movement-induced load fluctuations in a pinch-holding-up activity (PHUA). Six force-related and temporal parameters for sensory measurement were used to determine improvements in pinch performance over time following sensory recovery. The results revealed significant differences in the parameters of peak pinch force, baseline pinch force, force ratio, and the percentage of maximal pinch force output at different points in the course of nerve regeneration. A strong relationship was also found between kinetic data from the PHUA test and the traditional sensibility tests for the nerve repair patients in the present study.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine