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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4057
Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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please advise on how to unlock ring finger right now. Ice,

Customer Question

please advise on how to unlock ring finger right now. Ice, heat, or force open?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for writing to JustAnswer health with your request.

Heat causes metal to expand, but you are of course limited in the amount of heat you could apply due to this being on your finger.

Soap, is a traditional method that will sometimes help due to slipperiness.

Also, it is very important to keep the ring finger, or hand elevated. The longer you have it elevated, if there dependent edema (swelling) this may help. Keep the hand above the level of the heart - this will help decrease swelling the best.

(I looked for additional references, and indeed did find that cooling the finger is recommended, along with elevation.) See this link for details on elevating and alternately cooling the finger, and gently pressing the skin down around the top of the ring:

http://firstaid.about.com/od/injuriesathome/ht/07_stuck_ring.htm

Now, if the finger is losing color (becoming pale, loss of color, or blue) tingling, then you will need to go to an Fire Department, ER or Urgent care center to have it removed with equipment. But as long as you have feeling int he finger and it is not painful, you can try this procedure (elevation and ice, then soap)

Another technique that can help might but might require another person to help you involves using string:

http://www.impactednurse.com/?p=116

Please reply to this post if you have further questions or need clarification on any portion of my answer. -

Edited by Susan Ivy on 9/3/2010 at 2:09 AM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I don't have a ring to remove . I have a locked finger joint. Please advise asap.
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 3 years ago.
I am so sorry I misunderstood you!

For tonight, mild heat is a better option for this, and you can try an NSAID such as Ibuprofen (as long as you are not allergic or taking other medication that is contraindicated -- if you are unsure, you can provide me with the medications you take). Ibuprofen should be taken with food in your stomach as well.

But before any other type of treatment can be done you will need a medical evaluation and possibly an x-ray - to determine if it is a problem with a ligament, joint capsule, or other inflammatory problem. So do not force the finger straight. Depending on the cause, the doctor may do this, or you may be evaluated by a physical or occupational therapist for treatment.

If you are afraid of the finger locking in place, do not worry about one night - in other words you can wait until tomorrow to be evaluated (unless there is anything else going on that you have not mentioned such as loss of circulation, change in color of the skin, etc.)

Again, let me know if you have any further questions or need clarification.
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4057
Experience: BSN, MSN, CNS
Susan Ivy and 7 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your most helpful and prompt response. While I don't take medications, I have no problem w/ OTC's and will follow your recommendation re Ibuprofen and else. So glad to know this service is available.
Thank you Susan!
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for you nice comments and for accepting my answer!

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