Trapped Finger, Toe, or Limb - Adventist HealthCare

Trapped Finger, Toe, or Limb

Topic Overview

A body digit or limb, such as your finger and toe (digits) or hand and foot (limbs), can sometimes get caught in objects such as bottles, jars, toys, pipes, railings, or fences. You may be able to free your digit or limb using home treatment.

Blood flow can be reduced or cut off if your digit or limb remains stuck in an object. Immediate removal can help prevent complications, such as the loss of your digit or limb. Remove your digit or limb carefully so that removal attempts do not cause injury.

To free a trapped digit or limb stuck in an object:

  • Don't force the digit or limb. This may make the digit or limb swell and become harder to remove.
  • Try to relax the digit or limb. Relaxation alone will sometimes enable you to free the trapped digit or limb.
  • If possible, elevate the digit or limb above the level of the heart to reduce swelling.
  • Apply ice around the exposed digit or limb. This may reduce any swelling and allow it to be released.
  • If ice doesn't work, dribble soapy water or cooking oil on the digit or limb to make it slippery.
  • Turn the object to "unscrew" it rather than pulling it off directly.

A doctor can assist with removal in a safe manner if these measures do not work. The fire department or paramedics may be needed to help free your trapped limb if it is trapped in an object connected to the ground, such as a fence.

Credits

Current as ofSeptember 23, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.