Hoffmann's sign

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For the finger flexor reflex, see Hoffmann's reflex.

In medicine, Hoffmann's sign, named after the German physiologist, Paul Hoffmann[1][2][3][4] (1884–1962, physiologist in Freiburg) is a distal sign of nerve regeneration.


A Hoffmann (or Tinel's sign or Patel's sign) is a tingling sensation triggered by a mechanical stimulus in the distal part of an injured nerve. This sensation radiates peripherally, from the point where it is triggered to the cutaneous distribution of the nerve. The tingling response can be compared with that produced by a weak electric current, as in transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). This unpleasant sensation is not a severe pain and does not persist.[5]


First described in 1907 by the British surgeons: Wilfred Trotter & H. Morriston Davies.[6]

In March 1915, Paul Hoffmann described the distal regeneration sign which was subsequently named Hoffmann's sign. In October 1915, Jules Tinel independently described the same phenomenon in French "le signe de fourmillement": Tinel's sign.


  1. ^ synd/3740 at Who Named It?
  2. ^ Hoffmann. P. Über eine Methode, den Erfolg einer Nervennaht zu beurteilen. Medizinische Klinik, März 1915a, 13: 359-360
  3. ^ Hoffmann. P. Weiteres über das Verhalten frisch regenerierter Nerven und über eine Methode, den Erfolg einer Nervennaht zu beurteilen. Medizinische Klinik, October 1915b, 31: 856-858
  4. ^ Hoffmann, P. The Hoffmann-Tinel sign (Translated by Buck-Gramko D, Lubahn JD). J Hand Surg 1983, 18B, 800-805
  5. ^ Spicher, C; Kohut, G; Miauton, J (1999). "At which stage of sensory recovery can a tingling sign be expected?". Journal of Hand Therapy. 12 (4): 298–308. doi:10.1016/S0894-1130(99)80068-4. PMID 10622196. 
  6. ^ Trotter, W; Davies, HM (Feb 9, 1909). "Experimental studies in the innervation of the skin.". The Journal of Physiology. 38 (2-3): 134–246.1. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.1909.sp001299. PMC 1533644Freely accessible. PMID 16992967. 

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