CC BY 4.0 · J Brachial Plex Peripher Nerve Inj 2023; 18(01): e10-e20
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1764352
Review Article

Patient-Reported Outcomes and Provocative Testing in Peripheral Nerve Injury and Recovery

1   Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas
Stephen Rossettie
1   Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas
John Rafael
1   Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas
Cameron T. Cox
1   Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas
Ivica Ducic
2   Washington Nerve Institute, McLean, Virginia
Brendan J. Mackay
1   Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas
› Author Affiliations


Background Peripheral nerve function is often difficult to assess given the highly variable presentation and subjective patient experience of nerve injury. If nerve assessment is incomplete or inaccurate, inappropriate diagnosis and subsequent treatment may result in permanent dysfunction.

Objective As our understanding of nerve repair and generation evolves, so have tools for evaluating peripheral nerve function, recovery, and nerve-related impact on the quality of life. Provocative testing is often used in the clinic to identify peripheral nerve dysfunction. Patient-reported outcome forms provide insights regarding the effect of nerve dysfunction on daily activities and quality of life.

Methods We performed a review of the literature using a comprehensive combination of keywords and search algorithms to determine the clinical utility of different provocative tests and patient-reported outcomes measures in a variety of contexts, both pre- and postoperatively.

Results This review may serve as a valuable resource for surgeons determining the appropriate provocative testing tools and patient-reported outcomes forms to monitor nerve function both pre- and postoperatively.

Conclusion As treatments for peripheral nerve injury and dysfunction continue to improve, identifying the most appropriate measures of success may ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes.

Author Contributions

A.J. was responsible for conceptualization, investigation, project administration, and writing. S.R. was responsible for investigation and writing. J.R. was responsible for investigation and writing. C.T.C. was responsible for conceptualization, project administration, and writing. I.D. was responsible for supervision and validation. B.M. was responsible for conceptualization and validation.

Publication History

Received: 07 August 2022

Accepted: 03 February 2023

Article published online:
21 April 2023

© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Rüdigerstraße 14, 70469 Stuttgart, Germany

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