The paw intrinsic muscle reinnervation model was established to investigate its impact on the skilled functional outcome after PNI (Figures 1(a) and 1(c)). Under anesthesia, a longitudinal incision was placed at the right distal forearm of the rat. The medial and ulnar nerves were explored at the wrist level. Both of the nerves were transected and ligated in the nerve injury group, or transected and then repaired through a 10-0 monofilament epineurial microstitch (Ethicon, USA) in the repair group. In contrast, the nerves were only exposed without any further procedure in the control (sham) group.

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