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.
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
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.
PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.