Many puncture wounds require the expertise of an experienced Idaho podiatrist. If you think any part of the object you stepped on could still be in your foot, then you should seek emergency care within 24 hours and remain off your foot as much as possible until you see a doctor.
Even if you are confident that nothing remains in your foot, you should seek prompt medical care. Puncture wounds are traumatic wounds that are potentially dangerous. Therefore, it's essential to understand the best course of action. Dr. Matt Wettstein can evaluate the puncture wound and provide you with at-home or in-office treatment options to help you heal and prevent unnecessary health complications.
The Dangers of Puncture Wounds
A puncture wound is an injury to the skin and underlying tissues caused by a sharp object, such as a nail, needle, shard of glass, or toothpick. Puncture wounds are different from cuts and require treatment to avoid:
- Infection. Puncture wounds can be incredibly dangerous due to the fact that dirt and bacteria can easily enter the body through this type of wound. This increases the risk of infection significantly, leading to swelling, redness, pus formation, and other painful symptoms.
- Nerve damage. Another danger posed by puncture wounds is nerve damage. If a deep enough puncture wound is sustained, it may damage nearby nerves, causing numbness and tingling in the affected area.
- Blood poisoning or sepsis. Failing to treat a puncture wound properly can also lead to blood poisoning, known medically as sepsis. This extremely serious condition can cause tissue death and organ failure if not treated promptly and appropriately.
A prompt evaluation and treatment plan can help you avoid these serious health consequences.
How an Idaho Podiatrist Can Diagnose and Treat Puncture Wounds
An Idaho podiatrist will typically diagnose puncture wounds by carefully examining the affected area. This involves checking for signs of infection and nerve damage, such as:
Depending on the severity of the wound, an X-ray may be taken to determine if there is any foreign object embedded in the foot or ankle.
Your podiatrist will recommend treatment options tailored to your unique injury needs. Some of the possible puncture wound treatment options include:
- Cleaning. Thoroughly cleaning the wound with soap and water helps reduce the risk of infection.
- Antibiotics. A course of antibiotics can help fight off any existing or potential infections.
- Tetanus shot. Your doctor will make sure that you've had a tetanus shot in the last ten years. Otherwise, you may need a tetanus shot quickly to prevent this type of bacterial infection.
- Dressings. Applying sterile dressings to remove dirt and bacteria from the wound can help prevent infection.
- Pain medication. Over-the-counter or prescription medications can help relieve pain and inflammation caused by the wound.
- Surgery. In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove damaged tissue or reposition any displaced bones or muscles.
- Rest. Your podiatrist may recommend staying off your foot until the puncture wound heals.
After initial treatment, your podiatrist may recommend additional follow-up at home. For example, you may continue rest, antibiotics, and pain medication for a prescribed time. Your foot doctor will also tell you whether further in-office treatments are necessary and review infection signs that might require prompt treatment.
Contact an Idaho Podiatrist Today to Evaluate Your Puncture Wound
You don't want to take any unnecessary chances with your health. A puncture wound may not just cause temporary pain or impact your ability to walk but could also lead to a potentially deadly infection or permanent nerve damage.
If you suffer a puncture wound on your foot in the Twin Falls or Burley area, we encourage you to contact Advanced Foot & Ankle. You can request an appointment online or call our Twin Falls office at 208-731-6321 or our Burley office at 208-312-4646 to schedule your appointment.