Clinical and electrophysiological assessment of recovery of function are reported on 20 patients with median or ulnar nerve sections up to 53 months after surgical repair. Maximum improvement of sensory function was apparent by both methods of assessment at 15 months after suture, and thereafter conduction velocities in sensory fibres averaged 80% of normal in median nerves and 70% of normal in ulnar nerves. Similarly, the mean amplitude of the sensory action potential at the wrist remained depressed at 15% of control values. The clinical recovery of motor function pursued a similar time course with, however, some evidence to indicate a continuing improvement in the neurophysiological maturation of the motor nerve fibres up to 47 months after repair. The results are discussed in relation to previous electrophysiological studies on animals.
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