Up until recently, most people had never heard of ring avulsion unless they worked in an emergency room or as an occupational safety specialist. But in 2015, comedian Jimmy Fallon had a horrifying injury that resulted in six hours of microsurgery on one of his fingers. What happened to Fallon was an injury known as ring avulsion (also sometimes called "de-gloving"), a condition that can have life-long consequences.
What is Ring Avulsion?
When a ring gets trapped in machinery, a fellow sports player, or in some other way, it doesn't always easily slip off ones finger. Instead, the edges of the ring may cut into the finger itself, potentially stripping it of flesh and muscle tissue. In many cases, amputation of the finger becomes necessary. Fallon noted that he was quite lucky: Doctors were able to save his finger. Many people are not so fortunate and may have to adjust to life without one of their fingers. Traumatic injuries such as this one can also result in complications, such as infection.
How Are These Injuries Prevented?
Ring avulsion can often be avoided by removing a ring before engaging in sports, yard work, or working with heavy machinery. In fact, many workplaces have rules against wearing rings as a way of preventing these serious, often horrific injuries. Individuals who are inclined to forget to remove their rings before engaging in risky activities may need to simply not wear a ring when they go off to work or onto the playing field. Workplaces and coaches can also set strict rules about wearing rings while on the job, during practice, or while in competition.
Why Do People Fail to Remove Their Rings When Engaging in High-Risk Activities?
Despite recent public awareness, some people continue to wear rings while involved in activities that could result in finger trauma. Very often, the reasons are sentimental: They don\t want to risk losing a valuable ring, such as a wedding band. Another reason is that some people feel "naked" if they arent wearing their wedding band.
Are There Any Alternatives?
For individuals who are uncomfortable removing their wedding bands, or who are concerned about losing their rings if they keep taking them on and off while working, may want to consider a ring made of a soft material such as rubber or silicone. Enso Rings were designed to help prevent ring avulsion. These lightweight, flexible, silicone bands are engineered to break apart if pulled or placed under stress. There are no sharp edges that could dig into a finger or cause significant trauma to other tissues. They also come in a variety of styles, colors, and finishes, including some that strongly resemble traditional metal rings. Their flexibility ensures a comfortable, but not tight, fit, and the antimicrobial material protects the skin underneath the ring from irritation.
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