Orthopaedics

First Aid For A Sprained Finger

Ring Removal:

Rings should be immediately removed following a sprain in the finger. The finger will get swelled which will make it difficult to remove the ring afterwards. In few cases, even a ring cutter is employed to remove a ring from the severely swollen finger.

  • Keep your finger in an elevated position above the heart.
  • To reduce the swelling, apply cold compressions for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Apply soapy water to the ring to lubricate the ring.
  • Take the help of another person to pull the skin tightly away from the ring.
  • Request that person to try twisting off the ring gently.
  • If any sign of skin damage or pain is felt, stop it immediately.
  • Loop a piece of thin string (or a ribbon) under the ring. This should be done on both sides of the finger.
  • Request another person to grab the ends of both strings.
  • Instruct that person to pull with equal strengths on the ends of each string.
  • You keep twisting the ring.

Reducing Swelling:

Wrapping a wide rubber band around the finger will help in reducing the swelling. Start from the tip and proceed towards the down to the ring. Overlapping the edges of the band may be done as wrapping is in progress. Remove the rubber band after 5 minutes. This is also a good process to reduce the swelling to remove the ring. But this can not be done in any of the below situations:

  • Severe pain in the finger,
  • The patient aging more than 60 years,
  • Diabetic patient,
  • History of peripheral vascular disease.

Medical care must be immediately seeked if any of the below sign retains:

  • Inability to remove the ring with repeated efforts,
  • Severe pain in finger,
  • Paleness in the finger,
  • Finger appearing blue,
  • Numbness in the finger.

Warning Signs To Notify A Doctor:

  • Finger appears blue
  • Paleness and numbness in finger
  • Poor circulation to the finger
  • Redness of the skin
  • Pain and tenderness in the finger getting worsened
  • Spreading of tenderness over to the finger bones
  • Pain getting worsened after using a splint

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