Puncture Wound Questions
When your pain leaves you immobile and dependent on others, it’s normal that you have questions and lots of them! Check out our FAQ to get answers to some of the top questions people have about foot and ankle pain in Ohio.
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Can I treat my puncture wound at home?
Yes and no.
While it’s important to perform first aid on a fresh puncture wound, and this may very well be sufficient for minor cases, we still strongly recommend you see a specialist very soon after sustaining the trauma. These injuries can be deceptive—you may not be able to easily tell right away just how deep the object penetrated or how much damage it caused, or if any contaminants remain in the wound. Furthermore, stepping on an “unclean” sharp object (like a rusty nail) can significantly increase your risk of developing a nasty infection.
We recommend you first stop the bleeding, remove any obvious large objects, clean out the whole area with mild soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and bandage. Then, get on the phone and call Family Foot and Ankle Center at (513) 728-4800 or (859) 282-1572, or request an appointment online. The sooner you receive expert care, the less likely painful complications will follow.
Do I need surgery if I have a puncture wound?
Generally speaking, puncture wounds will not require surgical repair. In most cases with careful care, they heal on their own, and unlike cuts, puncture wounds do not typically require stitches or adhesives, since the break in the skin is only a small hole rather than a long gash or tear. That said, you should visit a foot and ankle surgeon after sustaining the injury in order to make sure the wound is fully cleaned and free from any embedded foreign particles.
If surgery is eventually required, it’s usually not a result of the puncture itself (unless the damage to underlying tissues is extreme) but rather from a deep tissue or bone infection caused by the infection. That’s why it’s important to carefully apply first aid techniques and see your specialist as soon as possible after the trauma. If this happens to you, call Family Foot and Ankle Center right away at either (513) 728-4800 or (859) 282-1572, or set up an appointment online.