Jimmy Fallon, through a rather unfortunate set of circumstances, is now raising awareness for a rare, but debilitating injury called ring avulsion.
Those who have watched The Tonight Show for the last few weeks may have noticed a large cast on Jimmy’s left hand that runs all the way up his ring finger.
Many speculated that it was a break or a burn. In fact, it was an injury that nearly dismembered his ring finger. The story began on June 26, when Fallon tweeted:
“Tripped and caught my fall (good thing)! Ring caught on side of table almost ripped my finger off (bad thing).”
His first thought was that he had broken his finger, but when he went to the ER, they told him “Oh, you didn’t break your finger. It’s a thing called ring avulsion.” He goes on to explain this injury further:
“So basically what it is is my ring caught on the countertop going down and stuck there and pulled my finger off.”
Jimmy spent 10 days in the ICU as the doctors worked to save his finger. He was asked to go to Bellevue Hospital where they performed a rare microsurgery to save his finger.
Fallon has been raising awareness for ring aversion ever since, without even meaning to. He even spelled the condition and warned viewers not to look it up.
“A-V-U-L-S-I-O-N…If you Google it, you’ll see some graphic images. Don’t Google it, trust me.”
It’s now on the list of things not to be Googled. If you do happen to Google images of the ghastly injury, you’ll see some incredibly graphic images. This kind of research is not for those with weak stomachs.
From there, his Twitter account blew up with stories about ring avulsion and the many people who have experienced it or know someone who has.
Experts have weighed in on the situation as well, explaining the seriousness of the injury. Universities and medical professionals have shared why surgeons and others in hazardous jobs should never wear wedding rings while on the job.
Ring avulsion can have a couple of different outcomes. It can result in a simple contusion or turn into a full-blown amputation. In some cases, it can also result in what’s known as “degloving,” in which the surrounding skin, muscle, and tissue is ripped away from the bone.
For those who have experienced this injury, it’s not an easy fix, according to Douglas Hutchinson, M.D. of University of Utah HealthCare.
“We fix some, we cut many off. It’s very difficult to reconstruct.”
Jimmy shared just how lucky he was to have his finger saved. His surgeon explained just how difficult the microsurgery would be to perform. In Jimmy’s words:
“Apparently odds aren’t great with these things. This happens a lot, and usually they cut your finger off…So [the doctor] did surgery for like six hours. It was microsurgery, so under a microscope. He had to take a vein out of my foot… and put it in my finger…If you do one mis-stitch as you’re putting it together, the vein closes up and you screwed it up and it’s not going to happen. But he did it and he saved my finger.”
Fallon goes on to express his thanks to the incredible nurses and doctors who performed the surgery and cared for him during his 10 days in the ICU.
Thanks to his story and the many others that have been cropping up, Jimmy Fallon has raised awareness of the rare but incredibly dangerous injury called ring avulsion, and it’s inspiring others to be more careful at both home and work.
[Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]