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However, by pure accident Cynthia Illingworth at the Sheffield Children's Hospital noticed that in some children the finger would grow back. Just by doing nothing and letting the body heal itself, by 1974 Illingworth had documented hundreds of cases of regenerated fingers in children.
The criteria for this to happen are that just the tip of the finger be lost – the region from the fingernail down to the very first joint – and that the child be under eleven years of age. If the finger is sliced below the first joint then regeneration does not take place. If the skin is stitched back over the cut the finger will also not grow back. Also, the younger the child the quicker is the regrowth.
The finger belongs to a 8-year-old girl, showing complete regeneration of amputated finger tip. Finger print is missing, but in modern police states that may be an extra chance to get a little privacy from the Big Brother.
Medicine: The Regenerative Finger
When a child's fingertip is sliced off or smashed in a car door, most doctors sew up the wound or attempt to reconstruct the digit. But the best treatment for such injuries may be none at all. Writing in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery, Dr. Cynthia Illingworth of the Children's Hospital in Sheffield, England, reports that until the child is age eleven or so, a fingertip that is not damaged below the first joint will often regenerate spontaneously if left alone.
Fingertip Amputations In Young Children
Doctors treat fingertip amputations somewhat differently in children younger than 6 years of age. After thoroughly cleaning and preparing an amputated fingertip, the surgeon may reattach it to the finger. The fingertip may continue to grow relatively normally, even if bone was exposed. This is especially possible in children younger than 2 years of age.
Full recovery from a fingertip injury may take several months. After the injury heals, mild to severe pain and sensitivity to cold may continue for a year or may even be permanent.
Children with Severed Fingers
Children are more likely to heal an amputated digit, and more likely to have good function of a replanted finger. Therefore, every effort is made to reattached severed fingers, especially in young patients.
Results of Reattaching A Severed Finger
Modern surgical techniques have allowed doctors to reattach fingers with high rates of success. In fact, about 90% of reattached fingers are successful--meaning the finger is viable. That's the good news. The bad news is that most reattached fingers have only about 50% of normal motion, many have significant deficits of sensation, and many have difficulty with cold tolerance. Often that's better than not having the finger, but not always. It's very important to only reattach fingers in appropriate situations, and not reattach the finger when a poor outcome is likely.
A small number of physicians took up this technique but further research was not funded. The term 'stem cell' is now in common use and this regeneration is the amazing ability of cells to not only differentiate from being a stem cell to one specific type, such as bone or cartilage or blood, but the ability for some cells to dedifferentiate from a specific type back into stem cells and then transform themselves into a different cell type. In the 1970's this was considered heretical, but even today the non-invasive techniques pioneered by Becker have been left to rot.
Originally posted by Trexter Ziam
I guess I'm not so special afterall
I accidentally whacked the end of my finger off twice, in two separate incidents and it grew back. It all fits into the conditions in your article.
A third incident I sliced it to the bone between the 1st and 2nd joint and still have that scar.
Your article explains some things I always wondered "why"? Thanks!
PS - catnip eh? Okay, that article was worth a mousie full of catnip. Have at it.edit on 21/8/2012 by Trexter Ziam because: (no reason given)