Ring avulsion is described by Hand Lab as “one of the most devastating finger injuries,” the ring avulsion injury “doesn’t just (pulls off) the skin off circumferentially but it also usually strips away the nerves, tendons, and bone found on the skin as well.
Reattachment of the finger is often not possible because of the extensive soft tissue damage, and amputation may be required.”
Ring avulsion is a damage resulting from the abrupt and sometimes harsh tug of the caught ring that ranges from a simple bruise to “degloving” of soft tissue, which pulls the skin off, stripping away the nerves, tendons, and bone.
This type of injury is among one of the most devastating traumatic finger injuries, and usually, replantation following severe soft tissue damage might not be possible.
But, they is good news! Some progress in microsurgery has improved results following ring avulsion replantation.
Symptoms of Ring Avulsion
Severe damages that occur in a ring avulsion case is sometimes not evident to a patient. Immediate physical examination and x-ray assessment are required.
Some of the symptoms may include:
- Lack of sensation at the tip of the ring finger
- Finger whitening or discoloration
In very serious cases, a part of the finger is removed from the bone or may be completely severed (traumatic amputation).
Risk Factors of Ring Avulsion
- Wearing a ring
- Working with a machinery
- Some sport activities
Diagnosis And Treatment
When a patient presents with the injury, the injury is cleaned and inspected for any visibly injured vessel, nerve, or tendon.
Damages to the skin edges are also assessed. An x-ray may be done to indicate the type of finger injury a patient has incurred. If there is a separate part in the finger, it is wrapped using a saline gauze and placed in a bag containing ice water.
The patient is also given antibiotics and tetanus prophylaxis to prevent infections.
The main goal of the hand surgeon is to salvage the finger while maintaining function and provide an aesthetic appearance if possible.