Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Elbow Contusion Ring Removal

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

Ring Removal

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

Do not wrap the finger with a rubber band if:

Seek medical care immediately for:

Continue to Elbow Contusion Skin Wound

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Elbow Contusion References
  1. Beiner JM, Jokl P. Muscle contusion injuries: current treatment options. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2001 Jul-Aug;9(4):227-37. [11476532]
  2. Berg E. Deep muscle contusion complicated by myositis ossificans (a.k.a. heterotopic bone). Orthop Nurs. 2000 Nov-Dec;19(6):66-7. [11899311]
  3. Centeno CJ, Freeman M, Elkins WL. A review of the literature refuting the concept of minor impact soft tissue injury. Pain Res Manag. 2005 Summer;10(2):71-4. [15915248]
  4. Guzman J, Yassi A, Cooper JE, Khokhar J. Return to work after occupational injury. Family physicians' perspectives on soft-tissue injuries. Can Fam Physician. 2002 Dec;48:1912-9. [12520791]
  5. Tull F, Borrelli J Jr. Soft-tissue injury associated with closed fractures: evaluation and management. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2003 Nov-Dec;11(6):431-8. [14686828]
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