Clinical Outcomes in Ring Avulsion Fingers and Systematic Review of the Literature

Ann Plast Surg. 2020 Dec;85(6):631-637. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000002453.


Ring avulsions continue to be a challenge in reconstructive surgery. We conducted a retrospective study and reviewed all Urbaniak-Kay type IV degloving injuries replanted at our institution between 2011 and 2018. A systematic review of the literature was also conducted to assess the survival rates, functional, and sensibility outcomes. The results of our systematic review outline a survival rate of 79.50% (101/127). With 1 artery being repaired, 79% of the fingers survived, a value that increased to 87.50% when 2 arteries were anastomosed (P = 0.484). Statistically significant differences (P < 0.001) were found when comparing the survival rates of the fingers with 2 or more veins repaired (87%) with those with only 1 vein anastomosed (51.90%). In terms of nerve reconstruction, there was a significant difference (P < 0.001) with the 2-point discrimination test in favor of the reconstructed group when nerve reparation was done (10.80 mm ± 2.95 mm) versus when digital nerves were not repaired (15.25 mm ± 0.50 mm). Fingers after secondary procedures did not obtain better mobility. The mean total active motion in nonreoperated fingers was 221 degrees (195-270 degrees), whereas the total active motion in the cases who received secondary surgeries was 152 degrees (110-195 degrees), with statistically significant differences (P = 0.02). Therefore, we recommend attempting replantation of degloved fingers. All efforts must be done to carry out 2 vein anastomoses, and our results strongly recommend attempting at least some kind of nerve reconstruction. Secondary surgeries should be reserved for selected cases only, because of the extensive scarring in this kind of injuries. Early mobilization protocols must be encouraged to achieve a good functional result.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Amputation, Traumatic* / surgery
  • Finger Injuries* / surgery
  • Fingers / surgery
  • Humans
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Replantation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome