Massy-Westropp N, Grimmer K, Bain G.
School of Occupational Therapy, University of South Australia, City East
Campus SA, Australia.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether a standardized hand
activity would produce changes in the cross-sectional diameter of the
median nerve. Ultrasound measures of proven reliability of the cross-sectional
diameter of the median nerve in the wrist were taken. These measures were
taken before activity and immediately after the activity, after 5 minutes,
and after 10 minutes. The median nerves of 40 normal subjects showed an
increase in cross-sectional diameter immediately after hand activity then
returned to a size close to the preactivity size within 10 minutes. The
cross-sectional area of the carpal canal did not change significantly
after the hand activity was performed. Female gender and body mass index
over 25 were associated with significantly larger size increases in the
median nerve. This preliminary study suggests that ultrasound is sensitive
to the effects of activity upon the hand.
J Hand Surg [Am] 2001 Jul;26(4):649-654