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The objective of the study was to determine the normative values for light touch sensation measured by the Semmes-Weinstein pressure aesthesiometer when the wrist is held in the maximal flexed position and when the wrist is held in the maximal extended position. Currently, normative values exist only for measurements taken when the wrist is held in a neutral position. Thirty-one subjects with no previous hand injury or pathology participated in this preliminary study. Each subject served as his or her own control; i.e., each finger with the wrist in a neutral position served as the control for the same finger when the wrist was positioned in maximal flexion and then in maximal extension. The neutral position was used as the control, because normative values already exist for that position. The results revealed no consistent differences between measurements taken when the wrist was held in a neutral position and those taken with the wrist held in the maximal, or complete, flexed or extended position. This suggests that any difference in sensation found when hands are placed in a provocative position—i.e., when wrists are flexed or extended rather than placed in a neutral resting position—may be due to pathology and not to position.
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© 1998 Hanley & Belfus, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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