Tips to Safely Remove a Ring [Video]

Ask the Expert: Hand Video Series

About the video: I can’t remove my ring, do I have other options than cutting the ring?

Our hands all go through changes based on activity, temperature, weight, and even arthritis. Any of these factors can make your rings difficult or seemingly impossible to remove. Listen to Summit Orthopedics’ experts share some of the best surgeon tricks to remove that ring safely. Featuring hand surgeons, Edward Su, MD, Robert Anderson, MD and LT Donovan, DO.

Meet the Expert: Edward Su, M.D.

Dr. Su’s approach: “Driving, cooking, bathing, using tools, computers, and playing sports. We interact with the world largely through our hands, and I appreciate the importance of staying active and pain free.”

Dr. Su’s background: After completing his undergraduate studies at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Su moved to New York, New York, where he earned his Medical Degree at the New York School of Medicine, and later completed his Orthopedic Surgery residency at the Hospital for Joint Diseases. He also completed fellowship training for Hand and Upper Extremities at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.

Meet the Expert: LT Donovan, D.O.

Dr. Donovan’s approach: “My personal passions for baseball and cycling often give me unique insights about how to treat sports-related injuries.”

Dr. Donovan’s background: In Des Moines, Iowa, Dr. Donovan earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa and his medical degree at the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery. Following his residency at the Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, he completed fellowship training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Meet Dr. Anderson

Dr. Anderson’s approach: “My own injuries and need for surgeries have helped me understand the patient experience. I’m a better listener and care provider as a result. I grew up and attended college in the area, so I know and understand the people of the Twin Cities.”

Dr. Anderson’s education: Dr. Anderson studied at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN to obtain his undergraduate degree, and he went on to complete his medical degree at the University of Minnesota. He attended Indiana University Medical School in Indianapolis, IN for his residency in Orthopedics, and he completed advanced training as part of the Hand Surgery fellowship at the Indiana Hand Center.

Summit Orthopedics provides personalized hand and wrist expertise

The function of our hands is integrated through our wrists and arms to our shoulders; a problem anywhere along our arm may have a significant impact on hand function and quality of life. If you experience an injury or uncomfortable symptoms, our fellowship-trained hand and wrist surgeons are here to help. Summit physicians receive the highest levels of training and exclusively provide individualized care for conditions of the hand, wrist, and elbow.

Start your journey to better function and less pain. Find your hand expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNVadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

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Video Transcription

Edward Su, M.D.: One of the common symptoms of arthritis is enlargement of the knuckles, and sometimes, patients will have enlargement of the knuckles such that they can’t remove a wedding ring. In those cases, one of the things they can try is some sort of lubricant. Sometimes patients will use Windex. Sometimes they will use soap or oil. Another thing that the patient can try, to try to decrease the swelling in the finger, is to try to ice and elevate the finger for a few minutes, and then try the loosen it up and take it off.

LT Donovan, D.O.: There is a trick that’s on YouTube, where you can use some string, or what we use is some, what’s called umbilical tape, where you place it underneath the ring itself, then wrap it around the finger, and slowly unwind the string on the other side. What it’s doing is compressing the skin and the fluid in there, so you can try and get it off.

Robert Anderson, M.D: If your knuckle is so badly arthritic that there’s no other means possible, that’s the only time that we would talk about altering your jewelry or cutting it. Most of us would just advise you to go to see your jeweler. Jewelers have amazing resources, to either take your ring off without doing any damage to the ring, if that’s what you’re worried about, but most often, they’re able to resize the ring, which is going to give you the accessibility to take it on and off again as you need to.

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  • Edward Su, M.D.

    “Driving, cooking, bathing, using tools, computers, and playing sports. We interact with the world largely through our hands, and I appreciate the importance of staying active and pain free.”

    More about this expert

  • Robert Anderson

    Robert Anderson, M.D.

    “My own injuries and need for surgeries have helped me understand the patient experience. I’m a better listener and care provider as a result. I grew up and attended college in the area, so I know and understand the people of the Twin Cities.”

    More about this expert

  • LT Donovan, D.O.

    “My personal passions for baseball and cycling often give me unique insights about how to treat sports-related injuries.”

    More about this expert

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