Wearing A Tight Ring Can Lead To Embedded Ring Syndrome

Wearing very tight ring can constrict nerves that may lead to chronic constriction and Embedded ring syndrome.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Sep 09, 2022Updated at: Sep 09, 2022
Wearing A Tight Ring Can Lead To Embedded Ring Syndrome

A ring is a jewellery piece that is worn on the fingers. Different people wear rings for different reasons including fashion, emotional sentiments, religious or spiritual purposes. Some people end up  wearing one ring in the same finger for years, which could be dangerous especially if you have gained or lost weight during this time. A 45-year-old man who suffered chronic constriction of finger due to a stuck ring.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Hand Surgery, wearing tight rings or a stuck ring can cause chronic constriction and that can be a serious concern. Constriction can cause damage to tissues, nerves, and necrosis of the skin. Over time, this can cause internal infection that may require amputation, as the last resort. This may sound normal but it is detrimental. A lot of people keep on wearing tight rings without worrying about its negative effects. This is a very serious problem as infection may spread to other parts of the hand. A study was done by Dr. Parag Lad, Consultant Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgeon and Director of Pinnacle Orthocenter, Thane.

embedded ring syndrome

Dr. Lad explains the case by saying, “A ring is the most common ornament in many customs and religions. It is traditionally worn as a symbol of love during engagement/wedding or as decorative jewellery. Due to swelling of the finger, those metal rings compress the nerves, which negatively impact the tissues in the swollen fingers. Hence, it must be removed immediately before they threaten the finger's viability. But a person with religious thoughts, psychological illness, or addictions avoid or refuse to remove the ring and due to gradual tightening of the ring stuck into finger is difficult to cut and it results in infection of skin. In such a situation, the ring causes severe deformity of fingers, raising the risk of amputation.”

Case Study

A 45-year-old man came up to Dr. Parag Lad with a ring stuck on his right thumb. His medical history showed various problems experienced in the right thumb over the past few weeks. This included swelling in the thumb, blunt trauma, and a wound with yellowish discharge. Besides, the man also felt numbness in his thumb and couldn’t move it. When Dr. Lad diagnosed his affected thumb, it was found that there was internal swelling due to the embedded ring in the thumb. Considering the severity of the case, he was immediately sent for surgery.

embedded ring syndrome symptoms

There were multiple problems that needed to be resolved. Chronic inflammation due to the stuck ring and compromised blood supply due to chronic constriction of nerves and tissues. Thankfully, the condition didn’t reach the bone infection stage. He was advised to undergo a thumb reconstruction surgery. In this, the infected tissue of the thumb is removed and the wound is dressed, but left open to heal. After wound healing, the doctor performed another surgery to reconstruct the affected nerves of the thumb. The man regained his thumb function after around six months.

This case should be taken as a warning to not wear tight rings. They can cause serious complications in your fingers that may spread to the rest of the hand.