Ring Avulsion: A Serious Injury That’s Easy To Prevent

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Ring avulsion is a rare, potentially devastating, difficult to treat, but easily preventable injury that occurs when a ring you’re wearing gets stuck on a fast moving object, causing the ring to strip away soft tissue around the bone of your ring finger. Many of these injuries result in amputation.

Your ring could catch on something as obviously dangerous as industrial machinery, or even something stationery, say when falling from a ladder or coming down from a basketball rim (if you can dunk).

The force of ring avulsion can be so great that it strips away muscles, tendons, and bones – an action referred to as “degloving.”

Hand surgeon Matthew Cavo, MD, explains what ring avulsion is.

Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.

Ring Avulsion Is Easy to Prevent

“Because ring avulsion injuries are so devastating (and difficult to treat) the most important thing to take away from any kind of education about them is to try and prevent them from happening in the first place,” says Dr. Cavo.

The way to prevent a ring avulsion injury is to take off your wedding band, or any other ring, before you begin working with fast moving equipment or begin a job where your ring could get caught on metal or other rigid material.

Dr. Cavo says, “If your wedding band gets caught on anything fast moving, it can result in a ring avulsion injury and lead to permanent damage. It's very quick and easy to prevent it from happening. Take off the ring.”

Dr. Cavo talks about how you can prevent a ring avulsion injury.

Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.

Those most at risk of ring avulsion injuries are in manufacturing and other occupations that use high powered equipment with high-speed moving parts that a ring could get caught on. You could also be at risk when you using machinery in home improvement projects or in your home workshop, and even around some kitchen appliances.

Treatment For Ring Avulsion

Ring avulsion injuries are difficult to treat, Dr. Cavo says. “Often they involve an injury to the blood vessels, tendons, and even the bones of a finger, so pretty much every level of the finger's anatomy is injured.”

Surgeons often attempt to reconnect the injured structures of the finger. “The tendons are repaired, the blood vessels are repaired, the skin is repaired, and the bones are fixed, if possible.”

In many cases ring avulsion injuries require surgical amputation of the finger, “even further back from where the injury started, so that the skin can be closed and you have a functioning hand,” Dr. Cavo says.

He describes treatment of ring avulsion.

Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.