Arch Hand Microsurg.  2019 Sep;24(3):203-209. 10.12790/ahm.2019.24.3.203.

Experiment of Radial and Ulnar Sides Sensory Dominance of the Digits in Office Workers by Fluorescent Material Painting

  • 1Department of Plastic Surgery, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.


The radial side of fingers are thought to be the dominant sensory side. With the development of electronic devices and lifestyle changes, we think this should be re-evaluated.
We painted fluorescent material on both hands of 26 office workers. Each finger was divided into the ulnar and radial compartment. We analysed how much fluorescent material remained by comparing two pictures, before and after work.
On the dominant hand, significantly more fluorescent material remained on the radial side of the ring and little finger compared with the other compartment. On the non-dominant hand, there was no statistical difference between compartments.
In this study, the radial sides of the ring and little finger on the dominant hand seem to be less useful in modern life and these compartments can be sensibly less important. This observation can be used as a basic data for reevaluation of the sensory dominant sides of fingers and it may be helpful in various hand surgery.


Fingers; Sensation; Tissue donors

MeSH Terms

Life Style
Tissue Donors


  • Fig. 1 (A) The baseline photograph shows each finger divided into the radial and ulnar side. (B) We analysed how much fluorescent material remained after a workday using ImageJ. ① Radial side of the thumb, ② ulnar side of the thumb, ③ radial side of the index finger, ④ ulnar side of the index finger, ⑤ radial side of the middle finger, ⑥ ulnar side of the middle finger, ⑦ radial side of the ring finger, ⑧ ulnar side of the ring finger, ⑨ radial side of the little finger, and ⑩ ulnar side of the little finger.

  • Fig. 2 (A) A baseline photograph is shown. (B) A photograph after 8 hours of work is shown.

  • Fig. 3 Activities require the use of the ulnar compartment more so than before. (A) Typing keyboard needs sensation of ulnar compartment. (B) Also using a mouse needs sensation of ulnar compartment. (C) Button type lock, or (D) opening a door with a button also require ulnar compartment more than radial compartment. Many electronic devices and machines such as (E) automated teller machine or (F) elevator are controlled with fingers especially ulnar side of fingers. Recently, we use many (G) haptic devices and (H) smartphones which are mostly run by ulnar sides of fingers.


1. Khouri RK, Badia A. Reconstructive surgery of individual digits (excluding thumb). In : Mathes SJ, Hentz VR, editors. Plastic surgery. Volume VII. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders;2006. p. 207–252.
2. Tubiana R, Duparc J. Restoration of sensibility in the hand by neurovascular skin island transfer. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1961; 43:474–480.
3. Hashem MA. The heterodigital neurovascular island flap: a sensible solution for difficult digital defects. Kasr El Aini J Surg. 2006; 7:55–62.
4. Puckett CL, Howard B, Concannon MJ. Primary closure of the donor site for the Littler neurovascular island flap transfer. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1996; 97:1062–1064.
5. Silva JB, Pires FK, Teixeira LF. The pulp switch flap: an option for the treatment of loss of the dominant half of the digital pulp. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2013; 38:948–951.
6. Ranney DA, Lennox WM. The protective value of a neurovascular island pedicle transfer in hands partially anesthetic due to ulnar denervation in leprosy. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1978; 60:328–334.
7. Hayashi H, Shimizu H. Essential motion of metacarpophalangeal joints during activities of daily living. J Hand Ther. 2013; 26:69–73. quiz 74.
Full Text Links
  • AHM
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2024 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: