Puncture wounds occur when a foreign object, such as a nail, glass or piece of wood, enter the skin a cause a hole. These types of wounds require immediate treatment because they often cut deep into the skin. Unlike superficial cuts or abrasions, puncture wounds can cause serious injury and infection.
In the feet, puncture wounds occur most often on the plantar (bottom) surface. They can occur when wearing or not wearing shoes. However, if wearing shoes or socks the material can get pushed into the foot by the foreign body. By their nature, all puncture wounds are dirty wounds because they involve penetration of an object that isn”t sterile.
Signs and Symptoms of Infection
If left untreated, puncture wounds can cause an infection. The initial signs of infection include redness and increased pain from the site. Sometimes a minor skin infection can spread into a more serious skin infection (cellulitis). More serious signs of infection include widespread redness, warmth, swelling and drainage from the site. If the wound tracks, or spreads to deep tissues, the infection can spread to bone.
Puncture wounds are best treated within the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury by a Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgeon. Inspection and cleansing of the wound along with prescribing of the appropriate antibiotic are essential. Even if you have gone to an emergency room for immediate treatment you should follow-up with a Podiatric Physician.