• A comparison between complete immobilisation and protected active mobilisation in sensory nerve recovery following isolated digital nerve injury.

      Henry, F P; Farkhad, R I; Butt, F S; O'Shaughnessy, M; O'Sullivan, S T; Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. frankphenry@gmail.com (2012-06)
      Post-operative immobilisation following isolated digital nerve repair remains a controversial issue amongst the microsurgical community. Protocols differ from unit to unit and even, as evidenced in our unit, may differ from consultant to consultant. We undertook a retrospective review of 46 patients who underwent isolated digital nerve repair over a 6-month period. Follow-up ranged from 6 to 18 months. Twenty-four were managed with protected active mobilisation over a 4-week period while 22 were immobilised over the same period. Outcomes such as return to work, cold intolerance, two-point discrimination and temperature differentiation were used as indicators of clinical recovery. Our results showed that there was no significant difference noted in either clinical assessment of recovery or return to work following either post-operative protocol, suggesting that either regime may be adopted, tailored to the patient's needs and resources of the unit.