Foot Degloving Injury

Experienced Foot Degloving Accident Attorneys

degloving foot accident

Degloving injuries are severe and catastrophic injuries that result when the skin is forcibly detached from the body, like when a sock is peeled off a foot, revealing the underlying muscle, tendons, bones and tissue. A degloving is known as a avulsion injury. An avulsion is a very serious soft-tissue injury which results when layers of skin and soft tissue are forcibly ripped off the body. These injuries typically occur to the hands, arms, legs and feet. Ankle and foot degloving accidents are the most common though.

Causes of Degloved Foot and Ankle

An ankle and foot degloving injury typically results from trauma. They are often the result of some crushing or penetrating mechanisms. There are many ways a foot or ankle degloving injury can occur. Every accident though requires a tremendous amount of force to tear the skin off while leaving the underlying soft tissue intact

  • Pedestrian Accident: Pedestrians are very vulnerable to degloving injuries especially when they are struck by a motor vehicle. 150 lb pedestrian made of flesh and bone is no match for a 1 ton vehicle made of metal. Degloved foot accidents commonly occur when the lower leg gets stuck between a hard, fixed surface like a driveway and a moving object like a car tire. Pedestrian backover accidents are very serious and often times produce delgoving injuries. Most pedestrian backover accidents occur in parking lots or driveways or on construction sites.
  • Car Accidents: Car accidents are a major cause of foot and leg degloving injuries as they are capable of producing the forced needed to tear the skin off the body. Serious car accidents are capable of throwing passengers and drivers from the vehicle causing the body and skin to drag along the pavement which can cause a degloved ankle and foot.
  • Motorcycle Accidents: The legs and feet of motorcycle operators are exposed making foot and leg deglovings common in motorcycle accidents. Often times in an accident a motorcycle operator’s foot and leg will drag across the asphalt at high speeds for an extended period.
  • Workplace Injuries: Heavy machinery like forklifts, backhoes and bobcats are also major causes of work-related foot degloving injuries. These avulsion injuries are common in industrial settings that use lathes, punchpresses and machines that operate on conveyor belts. Mechanics and carpenters work in industrial settings with machinery that are known to cause foot, leg and ankle degloving accidents.

These degloving accidents are usually always the result or careless or negligent vehicle and machine operators, negligent employer work practices and defective products.

Medical Complications from Degloved Ankle or Foot

Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to minimize the risk of foot amputation. Most treatment centers around reconstructing the foot. Often times other injuries occur along with the flesh wound. Degloved foot injuries often times involve torn tendons and ligaments and nerve damage resulting in a loss of sensation or feeling. Foot degloving injuries frequently produce orthopedic injuries like ankle or talus fractures, bimalleolar and trimalleolar fractures, and heel bone or calcaneus fractures.

These associated injuries require a collaborative effort that brings together specialists like podiatrists, plastic surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, vasular surgeons, wound care specialists and neurologists. Together these specialists will work on any of the following treatments:

  • realigning and resetting any broken bones using open reduction and internal or external fixation procedure;
  • revascularizing which involves restoring blood flow to the injured foot and ankle area;
  • replantation which involves reattaching a detached body part like a toe;
  • several skin debridements which involves removing damaged, infected or dead skin tissue from the injured area which improves the healing potential of the remaining skin and tissue;
  • skin grafting which involves removing healthy skin from an unaffected or uninjured part of the body like the inner thigh and transplanting it to the ankle and foot wound;
  • negative-pressure wound therapy to enhance wound healing;
  • foot amputation

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