A Degloving injury is a traumatic injury that will tear the top layers of skin and tissues from the connecting bones, underlying muscle, or tissues. It occurs as if a glove is removed. Fundamentally, it affects the legs and will frequently cause fractures in underlying tissues. Deglove injuries can also be life-threatening. 

A degloving injury is a severe type of injury where the skin and underlying tissues are forcefully detached from the underlying structures, resulting in the removal or separation of a large area of skin. 

The term “degloving” is used because the injury resembles removing a glove from the hand. These injuries commonly occur in machinery accidents, such as in industrial settings or motor vehicle accidents, where significant force or crushing injuries are involved. 

Causes Of Degloving Injuries

There may be several causes of degloving injuries. Some common causes of degloving injuries include:

  • Car accidents
  • Motorcycle crashes
  • Truck wrecks
  • Sports mishap
  • Ring degloving injury
  • Animal bites
  • Falling from heights
  • Workplace accidents
  • Construction sites

There may be various other situations in which degloving injuries can happen. Therefore, you must be aware of the surroundings and take the necessary steps to prevent causing such a dreadful injury. It is advisable to wear protective gear as one of the preventive measures. 

Types Of Degloving Injuries

Degloving injuries can be categorized into two main types:

  • Open degloving injury: If there is ripping of the muscles, bones, and skin an open degloving injury may occur thereby exposing them. When the injury is caused, the skin may hang as a flap or remain partially attached. 
  • Closed degloving injury: This type of injury is more complicated. This is because the topmost layer of the skin will remain intact whether it separates from the tissues below it or not.

Some common places where a degloving injury may occur are feet or hands. However, the injury can also occur in other body parts. 

  • Hand degloving injuries
  • Leg degloving injuries
  • Fingers and toes degloving injuries

Some risks associated with degloving injuries such as nerve damage, muscle damage, tissue death, infection, and amputation in extreme cases. Therefore, it is advisable to seek medical attention after degloving injuries happen. 

Side Effects Of Avulsion Injuries

Degloving injuries popularly known as avulsion injuries may cause the following side effects:

  • Avulsion injuries may be severe causing wrongful death and resulting in wrongful death claims. The tissues may disappear due to severe damage which may result in low oxygen supply to the body. 
  • At times, degloving injuries may lead to infections if the wounds are left open.
  • In extreme cases, degloving injuries may cause amputations when body parts cannot be healed.
  • If the injuries are causing numbness, loss of temperature sensitivity, and intense pain thereby leading to patient discomfort. 
  • Degloving injuries may lead to scars and in the case of skin transplant chances of scarring are maximum. 

How Long Does a Degloving Injury Take To Heal?

The healing time for a degloving injury can range from 6 months or longer. The time may vary depending on the severity of the injury, the specific area affected, and individual factors. 

Generally, degloving injuries require extensive medical treatment and can take several weeks to months to heal fully. The healing process may involve surgeries, skin grafts, wound care, and rehabilitation.

The initial stage focuses on wound management, preventing infection, and promoting tissue healing. This may involve regular dressing changes, antibiotics, and specialized wound care techniques.

Medical Treatment For Serious Degloving Injuries

Subsequent stages of healing involve rebuilding and restoring the affected area. This may include surgical procedures such as: 

  • Skin grafting
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Reattachment of fingers and toes
  • Physical therapy to regain function and mobility

If someone has sustained a closed type of degloving injury, they can use the therapies and bandages which may be essential. However, in severe cases, fluid may get drained from the wound which will help to get rid of dead tissues. Sometimes, injections are also used to shrink blood vessels to provide relief for the victim. 

How Does a Degloving Injury Differ From Other Types Of Injuries?

A degloving injury differs from other types of injuries primarily in its nature and severity. 

  • Skin and tissue detachment: In a degloving injury, a large area of skin and underlying tissue is forcefully separated from the underlying structures. This results in the removal or separation of the skin, exposing the underlying structures like muscles, tendons, and bones.
  • Extensive damage: Degloving injuries often involve significant trauma and can cause extensive damage to the affected area. They may result in severe tissue loss and damage to blood vessels, nerves, and other vital structures, making them more complex and challenging to treat.
  • Potential for complications: Due to the severity of the injury and the involvement of multiple structures, degloving injuries have a higher risk of complications, such as infection, impaired wound healing, scarring, and long-term functional limitations. 
  • Surgical intervention: Treating degloving injuries typically requires surgical intervention. Surgeons may need to perform skin grafts, tissue flaps, or complex reconstructive procedures to repair the damaged area and restore function as much as possible.

Overall, degloving injuries are distinct in their mechanism, the extent of tissue damage, and the challenges they pose in treatment and recovery compared to other types of injuries.

Types Of Compensation Available In Degloving Injuries

In cases of degloving injuries, several types of compensation may be available to the injured party. The specific types and amounts of compensation can vary based on factors such as the severity of the injury, the extent of damages, and applicable laws in the jurisdiction. Here are some common types of compensation that may be pursued:

  • Medical expenses: Compensation for past, current, and future medical expenses related to the treatment and rehabilitation of the degloving injury
  • Lost wages: Compensation for income lost due to the inability to work during recovery from the injury. This may include both past and future lost wages.
  • Pain and suffering: It is one of the non-economic damages that may comprise physical pain and emotional stress resulting from your degloving injuries. 
  • Disability and disfigurement: Compensation for any permanent disability or disfigurement caused by the degloving injury
  • Home modifications and assistive devices: Compensation for the costs of modifying the injured person’s home to accommodate any physical limitations or the need for assistive devices.
  • Rehabilitation and therapy: Compensation for the costs of rehabilitative services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other necessary therapies to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation process.

Suffering From Degloving Injuries? Contact a Lawyer

Degloving injuries can be severe and have long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial consequences. An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the legal process, help you understand your rights, and fight for compensation. They will assess the details of your case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, represent you in court.