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. Thus instead of suturing up smashed or amputated fingertips, Dr. Illingworth and her...

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