Improved sensory relearning after nerve repair induced by selective temporary anaesthesia - a new concept in hand rehabilitation.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The outcome after nerve repair in adults is generally poor. We hypothesized that forearm deafferentation would enhance the sensory outcome by increasing the cortical hand representation. A prospective, randomized, double-blind study was designed to investigate the effects of cutaneous forearm anaesthesia combined with sensory re-education on the outcome after ulnar or median nerve repair. During a 2 week period, a local anaesthetic cream (EMLA (R)) (n = 7) or placebo (n = 6) was applied repeatedly onto the flexor aspect of the forearm of the injured arm and combined with sensory re-education. Evaluation of sensory function was carried out at regular intervals and at 4 weeks after the last EMLA (R)/placebo session. The EMLA (R) group showed significant improvement compared to placebo in perception of touch/pressure, tactile gnosis and in the summarized outcome after 6 weeks. These results suggest that cutaneous forearm anaesthesia of the injured limb, in combination with sensory re-education, can enhance sensory recovery after nerve repair.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery


  • hand function, nerve injury, sensory relearning, anaesthesia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-132
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery (British Volume)
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Reconstructive Surgery (013240300), Hand Surgery Research Group (013241910)