The thesis has been considered that the visual pattern of finger motion produced by faradic stimulation at surgery can serve as a guide for the correct adjustment of the length of a reconstructed muscle-tendon unit within the stimulated synergistic muscle group.
Experimental studies performed in eighty-five subjects indicated that muscle tone varies under many conditions, but the relative tone of synergistic muscles of the fingers remains the same. Therefore, the strength of faradic stimulation required to produce a normal range of motion in a functional muscle-tendon unit is the correct strength to evaluate the function of a reconstructed muscle-tendon unit from the same synergistic muscle group.
Faradic stimulation of synergistic muscles during surgery was studied in twenty-nine patients. Eight had isolated tendon lacerations in otherwise normal hands. The stimulation technique was not precise enough to equate finger-force or correct minor variations in the are of finger motion. However, in twenty-one hands in which graceful effortless motion had been lost after multiple complicated injuries, faradic stimulation provided a reproducible visual reference for reconstructing functional hands.
Copyright 1965 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated