The hypothesis presented is that a muscle, transferred to a new area for purposes of recontouring or soft-tissue coverage, may be used also to provide sensibility. I hypothesize that the muscle's sensory end-organs, the muscle spindles, can be reinnervated by regenerating sensory afferent fibers from an adjacent cutaneous nerve. The muscle spindle's neural impulses, which normally pass to a subconscious level, would instead pass to the postcentral gyrus and reach conscious perception. A mechanism exists, therefore, by adding a sural or calcaneal nerve repair to the motor nerve of a muscle flap, transferred, for example, to the foot, to restore sensibility through microneurovascular transfer of a classic motor end-organ.
ASJC Scopus subject areas