• Mengistu G Mengesha
  • Biruk Lambisso Wamisho


Background: Ring tourniquet syndrome is not uncommon and patients will present with pain, swelling, ischemia, and finger wounds related to previous ring removal attempts. It may be due to application of undersized ring or related to swelling around a previously well-fitted ring.

Objective: This study aimed to describe epidemiologic features, predisposing conditions, and treatment outcomes of strangulated fingers.

Methodology: In this prospective observational study, we enrolled consecutive patients who presented to any of the three selected emergency departments at Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Alert trauma center and Hawassa University Comprehensive Specialized Hospital with ring tourniquet syndrome between January 01, 2017 and December 31, 2019. Data collected after getting ethical clearance.

Result: Among 33 patients enrolled, 52 % were female and the mean age was 24 (1.5 - 56) years. Eleven (33%) presented after wearing undersized ring, 7(21%) had trauma to the ipsilateral hand, wrist and/or forearm, and 7(21%) were psychiatric. The mean duration of ring incarceration was 3 days (4 hours – 3 weeks). Thirty-one patients (93%) reported previous attempt of removal of the constricting agent. Twenty-two patients (69%) required destruction of the constricting object and 5 patients (15%) need ray’s amputation of the finger. There were no reported major complications.

Conclusion: Ring tourniquet syndrome is not uncommon in our setting, and since most of the incarcerated rings required ring-destructive technique, the health personnel need to be had at least ring or k-wire cutter.

Key words: strangulated finger, ring incarceration, Tourniquet Syndrome, ring devices,


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