Targeted Muscle Reinnervation in the Hand: An Anatomical Feasibility Study for Neuroma Treatment and Prevention


      Targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) has emerged as a treatment for, and prevention of, symptomatic neuromas and has been reported to be of benefit in the hand. Anatomical studies establishing landmarks for consistent identification of the motor entry points (MEPs) to the intrinsic muscles have not been performed. The purpose of this study was to provide details regarding the MEPs to the intrinsic muscles, determine which MEPs are identifiable dorsally, and develop recommended sensory to MEP nerve coaptations for prophylactic TMR at the time of ray amputation or for management of symptomatic neuromas.


      Motor entry points to the intrinsic hand muscles were dissected in 5 fresh latex-injected cadavers. Number of MEPs, diameter, surface of entry, and distance from dorsal (Lister tubercle) and volar (hamate hook) landmarks were recorded for each target muscle. The digital sensory nerve diameters were measured for size comparison.


      Motor entry points were identified to all 19 intrinsic muscles through a volar approach and 12 through a dorsal approach. For all fingers, at least 2 MEPs were consistently identified dorsally at the base of each amputation site innervating expendable muscles. Motor entry points to the thenar muscles were only reliably identified through a volar approach. Two recommended nerve coaptations for each digit amputation were identified. All had a favorable sensory-to-MEP diameter ratio less than 2:1.


      The intrinsic hand muscles have MEPs at consistent distances from bony landmarks both dorsally and volarly.

      Clinical relevance

      These results can be applied clinically to assist surgeons in identifying the locations of MEPs to the intrinsic muscles when performing TMR in the hand for both neuroma treatment and prevention.

      Key words

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