Effect of partial wrist denervation on wrist kinesthesia: Wrist denervation does not impair proprioception

Andre Gay, Kimberly Harbst, Diana K. Hansen, Edward R. Laskowski, Richard A. Berger, Kenton R. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the potential effect of partial wrist denervation on wrist kinesthesia, we hypothesized that anesthetizing the anterior interosseous nerve and the posterior interosseous nerve does not impair the kinesthesia. Methods: We performed a double-blinded, prospective, randomized study on 80 healthy volunteers (2054 y old) to compare the ability to detect active and passive wrist movement in 2 conditions. The test group received an anesthetic block of the anterior and posterior interosseous nerves, and the control group subjects received an injection of saline. The kinesthesia of the 2 groups was then tested in 2 conditions by measuring the error in an active and passive wrist repositioning task. Results were analyzed using a repeated measures analysis of variance. Results: In both active and passive conditions, there was no difference in the repositioning errors between the test group and the control group. Conclusions: Our results show that kinesthesia is not impaired by blocking the anterior and posterior interosseous nerves. These findings are consistent for both active and passive motion. The study gives strong evidence that partial denervation does not impair wrist kinesthesia. However, because only kinesthesia was studied, we cannot conclude that partial denervation is a totally safe procedure for all aspects of proprioception. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic I.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1774-1779
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Denervation
  • joint
  • kinesthesia
  • wrist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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