Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Broken Leg Toe Ring Removal

Remove toe rings immediately after a leg fracture, because it is difficult to remove the ring if the toe becomes swollen. Sometimes, the toe becomes so swollen that the ring must be removed with a ring cutter. The following will help you remove a toe ring from a swollen toe.

Ring Removal

  • Elevate the toe above the heart and apply a cold compress for 15-20 minutes.
  • Lubricate the ring:
    • Apply soapy water to the ring.
  • Ask another person to pull the skin tightly away from the ring, and then try to twist the ring off gently.
    • Stop if this causes pain or skin damage.
  • If this does not work, loop a piece of thin string or ribbon under the ring on both sides of the toe. Ask another person to grab the ends of both strings. Have the person pull equally on the ends of each string, while you gently twist the ring.

Reducing Toe Swelling
In order to reduce toe swelling, you may wrap a wide rubber band around the toe. Start at the tip of the toe and wrap towards the ring. Overlap the edges of the rubber band as you wrap the toe. After 5 minutes, remove the rubber band and try to remove the ring.

Do not wrap the toe with a rubber band if:

Seek medical care immediately for:

Continue to Broken Leg Using a Cane

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Broken Leg References
  1. Cullen MC, Roy DR, Crawford AH, Assenmacher J, Levy MS, Wen D. Open fracture of the tibia in children. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1996 Jul;78(7):1039-47. [8698721]
  2. Francisco AC, Nightingale RW, Guilak F, Glisson RR, Garrett WE Jr. Comparison of soccer shin guards in preventing tibia fracture. Am J Sports Med. 2000 Mar-Apr;28(2):227-33. [10751000]
  3. Jensen A, Dahl S. Stress fracture of the distal tibia and fibula through heavy lifting. Am J Ind Med. 2005 Feb;47(2):181-3. [15662637]
  4. Roder F, Schwab M, Aleker T, Morike K, Thon KP, Klotz U. Proximal femur fracture in older patients--rehabilitation and clinical outcome. Age Ageing. 2003 Jan;32(1):74-80. [12540352]
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