Stimulated grip strength measurement: Validation of a novel method for functional assessment

Philip J. Hanwright, Jennifer L. Rath, Nicholas von Guionneau, Thomas G.W. Harris, Karim A. Sarhane, Stephen W.P. Kemp, Ahmet Hoke, Paul S. Cederna, Sami H. Tuffaha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Reliable measurement of functional recovery is critical in translational peripheral nerve regeneration research. Behavioral functional assessments such as volitional grip strength testing (vGST) are limited by inherent behavioral variability. Isometric tetanic force testing (ITFT) is highly reliable but precludes serial measurements. Combining elements of vGST and ITFT, stimulated grip strength testing (sGST) involves percutaneous median nerve stimulation to elicit maximal tetanic contraction of digital flexors, thereby allowing for consistent measurement of maximal grip strength. Methods: We measured side-to-side equivalence of force using sGST, vGST, and ITFT to determine relative reliability and repeatability. We also performed weekly force measurements following median nerve repair. Results: sGST demonstrated greater reliability and inter-trial repeatability than vGST and similar reliability to ITFT, with the added benefit of serial measurements. Conclusions: sGST is a valid method for assessing functional recovery that addresses the limitations of the currently available modalities used in translational peripheral nerve regeneration research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-442
Number of pages6
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • functional assessment
  • motor reinnervation
  • muscle force testing
  • peripheral nerve injury
  • peripheral nerve regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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