A Degloving injury refers to a traumatic injury that tears the top layers of skin and tissue from the connective tissue, bone, or underlying muscle as if a glove were being removed.

Avulsion type injuries, more commonly referred to as degloving injuries, involve a force detaching the tissue from its underlying structures such as muscles, bones and tendons without causing any damages on these same structures.

How Do Degloving Injuries Occur?

Degloving injuries most commonly occur as a result of high-energy trauma, such as motor vehicle or motorcycle accidents. It can also result from a crushing type of injury, such as an animal bite. Other causes include blunt or sharp trauma and medical procedures gone wrong.

These types of injuries can also be caused by a sharp object penetrating the skin, such as glass or metal. It is also possible to experience a degloving injury from severe skin friction, such as sliding down a rope or other surface.

Common Causes Of Degloving Injuries

There are a number of causes of degloving injuries. Some of the most common include:

There are many other situations in which a degloving injury can occur. It is important to always be aware of your surroundings and take the necessary precautions to prevent such an injury. It is also important to wear protective gear if necessary.

Fundamental Types Of Degloving injuries 

There are two distinct types of degloving injuries, ranging from minor to major in severity. It is essential to be aware of the various levels of damage that can occur with this type of injury.

  • An open degloving injury occurs when there is ripping of the skin, bones, and muscles, exposing them. The skin may remain partially attached or hang as a flap where the injury occurred.
  • A closed degloving injury may be more complex, as the top layer of skin remains intact even if it separates from the tissue below it. This type of injury may require extensive medical care.

The most common place for a degloving injury to occur is on the hands or feet, but they can also affect other parts of the body.

Degloving injuries in hand: In most degloving injuries, the skin has been lost; however, the musculoskeletal unit remains intact, thus preserving the movements of the hand. Upon skin reconstruction, there is a reduction in the movements.

Leg degloving injuries: In the legs, degloving injuries are mainly associated with underlying fractures. In this type of injury, the skin has been ripped off from the underlying tissue. The treatment for a leg degloving injury depends on the severity of the injury.

Fingers and toes degloving injuries: The fingers and toes are particularly prone to degloving injuries due to their location. This type of injury can be particularly complex, as they often involve multiple layers of the skin and underlying tissue.

There are a number of risks associated with degloving injuries. These can include infection, nerve and muscle damage, tissue death, and even amputation. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a degloving injury occurs.

What Are The Side Effects Of Avulsion Injuries?

These types of injuries may produce the following five side effects:

Infections: Sometimes, degloving injuries can lead to infection, which is one of the common side effects. If the wound is left open, an infection may occur.

Death of tissue: Sometimes, avulsion-type injuries can prove to be fatal, transforming the lawsuit from a civil case to a wrongful death claim. Due to severe damage, the tissue may disappear, leading to a lower supply of oxygen to the body.

Nerve damage: Nerve damage may cause numbness, intense pain, and loss of temperature sensitivity, all of which can lead to discomfort for the patient.

Amputations: If the avulsion injury has severely harmed an individual, amputations may result. This happens when the body parts cannot heal.

Scars: Degloving injuries may lead to scars and tissue being replaced by fewer new cells. In the case of a skin transplant, the chances of scarring are maximized.

How Long Does A Degloving Injury Take To Heal?

The healing process for a degloving injury can take up to 6 months or longer. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible and take special care of the injury to ensure proper healing.

Depending on the severity of the wound, your doctor may recommend physical therapy and/or nutritional supplements. It is also important to take steps in preventing further injury, such as using protective gear if necessary.

Medical Treatment For Victims With Serious Degloving Injuries

Depending on a patient’s age, occupation, and hand dominance among other elements, the treatment for degloving injuries may differ. Here is an overview of some of the available treatment options:

  • Skin reattachment
  • Skin grafts
  • Amputation
  • Reattachment of fingers and toes

In treating closed degloving injuries, a combination of compression bandages and therapies may be necessary. In more serious cases, fluid may need to be drained from the wound to get rid of dead tissue. Additionally, injections can also be useful in shrinking blood vessels for further relief.

The Prognosis And Treatment For Degloving Injuries In The Limbs.

The prognosis and treatment for degloving injuries in the limbs depends on the severity of the injury. The main priority is to prevent infection and ensure the wound heals properly. In most cases, surgery is recommended if there has been extensive tissue damage. The main treatment aims are to restore function and reduce pain.

Physical therapy may be prescribed to help strengthen the affected area and improve range of motion. Depending on the severity, the doctor may also recommend medications and injections. In some cases, amputation may be necessary, especially if the tissue is severely damaged and cannot heal properly. 

How Can Compensation Be Recovered In Degloving Injury Cases?

Recovering compensation for a degloving soft-tissue injury may be complex. The plaintiff needs to prove that the other party owes them a duty of care, has breached their standard duty of care, and that, due to their negligence, the degloving injuries have been caused. Moreover, they must also prove that the injury has significantly altered their life.

A San Antonio personal injury lawyer can prove this by showing evidence such as medical records, witness testimony, accident scene photos, GPS data, and other camera footage. To schedule a free case consultation, fill out the contact form available on our website or call us directly.