Lesson from Jimmy Fallon: Think Twice When Wearing Rings

Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon returned to the “The Tonight Show” earlier this month, after his wedding ring nearly cost him a finger. Fallon’s much-publicized injury, known as a ring avulsion, highlights how potentially dangerous wearing rings can be, and the importance of removing them before engaging in a variety of everyday jobs and activities.

What is a Ring Avulsion?

Ring avulsion, or degloving, happens quickly. In Fallon’s case, he tripped on a rug in his kitchen and tried to catch himself by grabbing a countertop. His wedding ring got stuck, peeling away skin and damaging blood vessels, muscles, and tendons.

This is a severe injury, requiring prompt surgery and in some cases, amputation of the finger. Fallon was fortunate. Delicate microsurgery, which included taking a vein from the comedian’s foot to help, helped restore the injured finger.

The Impact of Hand Injuries

Avulsions and other injuries to the fingers and hand caused by rings, happen more frequently than you may think. And because of the complexity of the hand, the injuries are often difficult to repair and can impact function – sensation, dexterity, range of motion, and grip – for an extended period of time; sometimes permanently.

The Good News: Prevention is Easy

While ring-related injuries can be devastating, the good news is, they are preventable. Most accidents occur in the home, where garden and lawn work, home maintenance, and trips and falls like Fallon’s, pose threats.

In addition, wearing rings when working in fields like construction, carpentry and firefighting; and when participating in sports and recreational activities, can be dangerous.

The best advice: Take a lesson from the late night host. Remove your rings before engaging in any activity with the possibility of a snag.

author name

Vincent Battista, MD

Vincent Battista, MD, is a surgeon with Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster.

Education: A graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, Dr. Battista served his residency at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, and a hand fellowship at Walter Reed Medical Center. His areas of expertise include hand surgery and orthopedic trauma.

Call: 717-517-4357

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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