Jimmy Fallon, the Tonight Show host and comedian, explained his ring avulsion injury to the late-night TV audience upon his return to the show on Monday, July 13. The gruesome injury has sidelined the Tonight Show host for more than two weeks and nearly cost the former Saturday Night Live (SNL) player his ring finger. Fallon’s complicated injury required surgery and landed him in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Bellevue Hospital in New York City for 10 days. The video clip of Fallon explaining his ring avulsion injury to the audience is located at the end of this article.
The comedian was forced to cancel a June 26 taping following an accident at home that resulted in his newsworthy injury. Fallon tripped over a rug in his kitchen and caught his wedding ring on the kitchen counter during his fall, which resulted in the host’s mangled finger. Initially, the Tonight Show host believed he had broken his finger, but upon his arrival at the emergency room, he was quickly notified by the ER staff that his situation was very serious indeed. The Fever Pitch actor was promptly transferred to Bellevue Hospital and referred to a microsurgery specialist in an effort to save his traumatized digit.
It was during this time that Fallon was made aware of the severity and complexity of his injury. A ring avulsion can occur anytime a ring catches on a surface forcefully enough that the soft tissue and skin of the finger becomes torn or dislodged. The hospital staff explained that the severity of a ring avulsion can vary greatly. In some cases, the injury involves only mild bruising and contusions. In more severe cases, however, it can result in partial or total deglovement, which involves all the soft tissue and skin of the digit being ripped off similar to the removal of a glove. Moreover, in severe cases, amputation of the digit is often required. Given the severity of Fallon’s injury, this scenario was a likely outcome.
Alas, the Tonight Show host lucked out, thanks to the efforts of the staff at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. In particular, the TV personality owed his good fortune to a skilled microsurgeon, who implanted a vein from the comedian’s foot into his hand. The late-night host underwent six hours of surgery in order to repair the injury and spent 10 days in the ICU. As the comedian continues to recover, he is expected to regain the feeling in his hand over the next two months.
While ring avulsion injuries are more common than many might think, severe injury cases are relatively rare. However, many patients who suffer from similar injuries are not as lucky as Fallon. Case in point, according to a 2014 study published in the journal Hand, researchers evaluated the treatment outcomes for 33 patients who experienced similar ring injuries, which included avulsions as well as other less severe ring injuries, and found that nine of those cases resulted in amputations.
Medical experts have recommended common sense approaches for lowering the risk of such injuries including removing rings in dangerous work environments or hazardous situations (e.g. construction or factory work, using power tools, playing contact sports, etc.), wearing a ring on a chain, making a cut in the ring to provide an opening, and getting a ring tattoo in place of a traditional ring. Moreover, as a result of his injury and recent experience, Fallon has tweeted that he has a new idea for wedding bands. In fact, he is clamoring for jewelers around the world to contact him about his wedding ring concept.
Tonight Show host and comedian Jimmy Fallon explained his ring avulsion injury to the late-night TV audience upon his return to the show on July 13. The gruesome injury had sidelined the Tonight Show host for more than two weeks and nearly cost the former SNL player his ring finger. Fallon detailed his complicated injury, surgery, and 10-day ICU hospital stay for the viewers, who were relieved to see him back at work. As promised, watch the video clip of Fallon explaining his ring avulsion injury to the audience below.
Written and Edited by Leigh Haugh
Entertainment Weekly–Jimmy Fallon Almost Lost His Finger Because He Tripped Over a Rug
Health–How a Finger Injury Landed Jimmy Fallon in the Hospital for 10 Days
Sydney Morning Herald–Jimmy Fallon Reveals Nearly Losing a Finger in Ring Avulsion Injury