Ring avulsion injuries: classification and prognosis

S Kay, J Werntz, T W Wolff
Journal of Hand Surgery 1989, 14 (2 Pt 1): 204-13
Fifty-five cases of ring avulsion injury were reviewed to examine how extent of injury and surgical management correlated with results. After injury, three patients had adequate circulation. Of 52 patients with inadequate circulation, 8 had primary amputation; salvage was attempted in 44. Of these 44, 9 fingers were amputated secondarily, 19 were successfully revascularized, and 16 were successfully replanted. Return-to-work time averaged between 4.5 and 10.3 weeks. Cold symptoms occurred in 65% of salvaged fingers. Range of motion was usually normal at the metacarpophalangeal joint; most patients had 90 degrees or better combined arc of motion at the proximal and distal interphalangeal joints. Two-point discrimination of less than 10 mm returned in 47% of patients with injured nerves. Most patients whose fingers were successfully salvaged were glad they had had the procedure. We conclude that amputated digits are salvageable and propose a classification system that includes skeletal injury.

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