Fingertip depth sense threshold has been examined in fifty normal subjects using the simple pocket aesthesiometer invented by Renfrew. Index fingers possessed the lowest thresholds and little fingers the highest, whilst there were no significant differences between the same fingers of either hand. Sex and age (at least up to 70 years) had no significant influence on depth sense threshold, but thickened skin and low intelligence tended to raise thresholds. Fingertip depth sense thresholds were then compared with the results of conventional sensory testing in fifty patients with sensory symptoms in the hands. The depth sense threshold of affected fingers was more often abnormal than were the results of clinical tests for light touch appreciation, joint position sense and two-point discrimination. Depth sense aesthesiometry is recommended as a simple, sensitive and quantifiable routine technique for the evaluation of sensory disturbance in the hands.
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