How to Fit a Ring over a Big Knuckle

It’s not just arthritis that causes big knuckles..

People assume that it is only arthritis that leaves you with large joints.  But it is actually very common, for the knuckle to be larger than the phalanx, or phalange – the finger itself.  And especially when a sporting injury has caused additional joint growth, through bone or tissue damage.  Rugby players often end up with the big knuckle small finger challenge. However I have had clients who have seen their knuckles grow after a fall or other impact. It all depends on how your body responds to injury.

For those looking for a ring solution, of course it is possible get a ring over a large knuckle.  Read on;

How to wear a wedding ring after a sporting injury

A couple of questions to consider here;

Q1 - If you’ve got a sporting injury which has left you with a large knuckle joint, on your left hand the first question is whether your injury has left permanent damage, or if over time your knuckle is going to decrease in size?  

Your doctor and/or surgeon should advise on this. Obviously, the ideal is that with rest and rehab, the joint will return to normal.  In which case you can consider regular ring options longer term – it’s just about waiting and following the rehab programme.  

If the prognosis is that you are going to have a larger knuckle moving forwards, or that the joint is going to be prone to swelling, then a shaped or hinged ring option is most likely best for you.

Q2 - Second question is how you are going to wear this ring, and what your lifestyle is like?  

If you are still playing sport, whatever solution you choose it isn’t recommended you play sports wearing a ring in case of further complications.  Especially with hinged rings.  I don’t recommend wearing normal rings for most sports, a hinged ring is an expensive option to have to repair every few months!

What are my wedding ring options if I’ve had a sporting / rugby injury?

The size of your knuckle and finger, and how they behave will drive my recommendations here.  

I sometimes send prospective clients off with a ring measuring tool, in order that they can check finger size at different times of the day.  I am writing this article on a cold day and my wedding ring is twisting around my finger.  But first thing this morning, it was hard to take off.  It is very common for fingers to change size during the day, so establishing the median of what knuckle is going to do, and finger will drive the best solution.

I’ve covered more information on different ring options in HERE, but in summary – the best ring solutions for big knuckles are detailed here with my thoughts;

#1 Speed bumps (sleeping policemen, ring bumps)

I don’t often recommend these for wedding rings unless there is a specific design which needs to stay on top. They are best when the size difference is no more than about 1-2 sizes between knuckle and finger, and in general with sporting injuries, this is often not the case.

#2 Shaped wedding rings – square or trapezoid

Despite the shape descriptions, these rings do not look square or trapezoid on the finger.  The advantage of these rings is twofold; firstly the shape enables movement over the knuckle, and then ‘locks’ into place on the finger.  The diagonals give the extra space to move over the joint.  I think they are the best ring shape for big knuckles where the size difference allows, because they don’t require any componentry to wear.  Which means that if you do wear them, they can get thrashed a bit, and just reshaped (even though I STILL DO NOT RECOMMEND wearing rings for sporting activities where the hands are in use!).  The downside is driven by the finger size, they can feel a little ‘baggy’ underneath if you have a skinny finger and big knuckle.

#3 Hinged wedding rings (also known as expanding wedding rings)

These are where there is a significant difference in finger size and knuckle – meaning that there will be discomfort in attempting to slide a ring over the knuckle.  These either;
• open up 6-8 full UK sizes
• open 180 degrees ensuring that if you want to wear a ring, you can - they will fit any finger.  
The detail to note is that they are engineered items with componentry to ensure they open and shut.  They will benefit from a check up every 18 months to 2 years depending on hard you wear them, They can’t be effectively resized either, meaning that a significant change in finger size will require a new ring.  I don’t recommended to go with this option if you are about to embark on a serious weight loss / gain programme until you have stabilised your weight!  Otherwise, a brilliant ring for those with big knuckles who want a perfect fit.

#4  If there is nothing wrong with your right finger – then why not wear the wedding ring here?

Some of the Eastern EU countries still wear wedding rings on the right ring finger or the right hand and in the Netherlands the rings can be worn on either hand.  It’s how you feel about it, but if cost really is an issue, it’s a great solution.

What do these solutions cost?

Having speed bumps incorporated into your wedding ring up front doesn’t make a huge difference to the price, especially for the larger rings.  And if you are remodelling a gifted ring (where costs start from £300 for a simple small ring) again you shouldn’t see much difference either.

A shaped wedding ring is handmade, so will be driven by the size of finger, width of band, depth of band, and the best shape for the knuckle.  Therefore, it’s a bit ballpark, but when we make the ring, we normally produce a silver prototype first which can be worn and checked for comfort, before we make the ring proper.  This means costs will start from £900 if you are around a size O, and from £1,100 if you are around a size U.

The Cost of a Hinged Ring

Hinged rings, I’ve written more about the engineering here.  It’s worth keeping in account, as this kind of ring is a performance item!  Expect costs to start around £1,000 at 3mm width from a size O in 14kt, or £1,350 in 18kt and work upwards.  In addition, keep in mind that depth plays a part, these rings need to hold the hinging components.  So a realistic view could be that for a 5mm hinged ring in size T, depth could be 2.25mm (which is a heavyweight profile by UK standards) could come in around £1,355 in 14kt, or £1,800* in 18kt.  Really big fingers have the heaviest rings, and so if you are a size U plus, expect starting costs to be from £2,000 in 14kt and £3,000 in 18kt.  Which can feel unsurprisingly daunting.

To explain a little further, it takes hours longer to make a hinged ring, and the current gold prices don’t help.  A 5mm wide plain heavyweight gold band at a 2.3mm depth comes in around £1,600* in size T or £1,850 in size Y.  

* For 10 years of marriage that is 0.49p a day..  It will have done a lot more mileage than an £1,800 car over that time!

Final Thoughts

You can wear a wedding ring even if you have a big knuckle from a sporting injury.  The rings discussed here all provide options to go the distance.  We don’t recommend going with a hinged ring for at least 6 months after a sporting injury which the joint stabilises.  It is always worth consulting with your doctor or surgeon about the longer term healing process.  

Interested in finding a ring solution for your big knuckle?  Get in touch to discuss wedding rings with us.

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