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Microsurgeons Do Better –Tactile Training Prevents the Age-Dependent Decline of the Sensibility of the Hand
Kai Megerle, MD; Daniel Schmauss, MD; Michael Cerny, MD; Jörn A. Lohmeyer, MD; Hans-Günther Machens, MD, PhD; Erne Holger, MD
Clinic for Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany

Purpose: Recent data demonstrate that the normal sensibility of the hand seems to be age-dependent with the best values in the third decade and a subsequent deterioration. However, it is not clear if long-term tactile training might prevent this age-dependent decline of the sensibility.

Methods: We evaluated the normal sensibility of the hand in 125 probands who perform microsurgery, thus undergoing regular tactical training. We examined the sensibility of the radial digital nerve of the index finger (N3) and the ulnar digital nerve of the small finger (N10) using static and moving 2-point discrimination tests and compared the results to a collective without specific long-term tactical training consisting of 154 probands.

Results: We found lower static and moving 2-point discrimination values for both nerves in the group of microsurgeons, with statistically significant differences after the fifth decade of life.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that long-term tactile training might prevent the known age-dependent decline of the sensibility of the hand.


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