In a recent article published in the International Journal of Surgery, authors reported the use of a wide array of QST (quantitative sensory testing) techniques to identify which of three surgical flap techniques is the least damaging to sensory nerve function of the donor site.
“The present study demonstrated for the first time the applicability and value of a standardized QST protocol to assess changes in somatosensory functions following RFF surgery”
The three surgical techniques were; traditional radial forearm flap, a first and a second modified radial forearm flap technique (MRFF-I and MRFF-II, respectively). Patients were examined post-surgery using the QST techniques on two sites within the surgical area on the operated and the contralateral non-operated forearm.
The types of QST techniques used included; Warm Detection Threshold, Cold Detection Threshold, Heat Pain Threshold, Cold Pain Threshold, Mechanical Detection Threshold, Mechanical Pain Threshold, and Pressure Pain Threshold.
The results from the QST tests were compared between the operated and non-operated forearm and between surgical techniques.
Pressure pain threshold was not different between the operated and non-operated forearms. All other QST measures significantly differed between the two forearms. In comparison between the three different techniques, the MRFF-II was found to have the best short-term recovery as measured by higher Warm Detection, Cold Detection, and Mechanical Detection Thresholds.
QST proves clinically relevant for various uses, among them, the evaluation of surgical techniques and subsequent recovery.
Link to the full text article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1743919118306903