The NEON study: digital NErve, suture Or Not?
Digital nerves are small nerves that pass along the side of each finger and provide sensation to the fingertips (in pink in the diagram above). These nerves can be accidentally cut when handling sharp objects like a knife or broken glass. The nerve is like an electrical cable: lots of small fibres encase in a thick insulating layer. We would like to find out whether stitching (also known as suturing) this outer layer helps the small fibres on either side of the injury heal, or whether just realigning the two ends is needed. Both types of treatment are done routinely in the NHS, and we currently do not know if one is better than the other. We are running a trial to compare these two ways of treating a digital nerve injury.