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June 1971

Tinel's Sign

Author Affiliations

Durham, NC
From the Divisions of Neurosurgery and Neurology, Duke University Medical Center, and the Durham Veterans Administration Hospital, Durham, NC.

Arch Neurol. 1971;24(6):573. doi:10.1001/archneur.1971.00480360107014

OUR KNOWLEDGE of peripheral nerve injuries has been accumulated primarily during the major wars.1,2 In the First World War, an important clinical test2,3 of nerve regeneration was first described independently in the same year by two physicians, each of whom was treating the casualties inflicted by the other's army. Since the war prevented free scientific communication between the opposing countries, each of the two physicians was unaware of the work of the other.

Paul Hoffmann,4 who also first described the H reflex,5,,6 was born in Dorpat in 1884 and became Professor of Physiology in Würzburg. His publication, translated below, concerns a sign of nerve regeneration that he discovered in wounded German soldiers; it appeared in print on March 28, 1915. Jules Tinel, a French neurologist and the fifth in a line of distinguished physicians,7 independently found the same sign in French soldiers and

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