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The segmental distribution of the cutaneous nerves in the limbs of man

, : The segmental distribution of the cutaneous nerves in the limbs of man. Anatomical Record 102(4): 409-437

Segmental cutaneous areas of hyposensitivity in the limbs have been found in the study of single nerve root compression by herniation of the nucleus pulposus of an intervertebral disc. These areas extend in regular continuous serial order from the spine into the limbs, comparable to the trunk dermatomes, and from this study a new dermatome chart of the human body is presented. This cutaneous distribution of nerve roots has been found to be dependable for the localization of single nerve root lesions in several hundred verified clinical cases. It is suggested that these newly defined dermatomes correspond to what may be called "primitive" or "primary" dermatomes. Development of limb innervation is discussed in the light of the primitive derma-tome pattern, showing that postulates of a loop configuration of the dermatomes and of dorsal axial lines of dermatomic juncture are untenable. It is indicated that the nerve fibers have grown spirally from the dorsal surface of the limb bud, around both rostral and caudal borders, to meet on the ventral surface along what corresponds to Sherrington's midventral line of the limb, the ventral axial line of recent authors. Explanatory anatomical drawings, photographs of patients and comparison charts with those of Sherrington, Bolk, Head and Foerster for each limb dermatome are presented.


PMID: 18102849

DOI: 10.1002/ar.1091020403

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