What is Puncture Wound of Foot or Nail in Foot: Treatment, Prognosis, Complications
The puncture wound of foot (or at any part of the body) although a common problem should not be ignored. Many a times, it leads to serious complications if not treated immediately.
What is Puncture Wound of Foot or Nail in Foot?
Puncture wound of foot usually occurs when an individual walks barefoot and his/her foot is pierced by a sharp object such as nail. It is an unexpected introduction of foreign body. Some punctures that happen are limited to the superficial surface, while some are deep depending on the causative agent. Puncture wound of foot or nail in foot should not be ignored, as it may cause serious problems in the long run. It is recommended to get a puncture wound treated within 24 hours to prevent further complications.
A puncture is different from a cut, which is an open wound caused due to long tear in the skin; in view of which the treatment procedures for both conditions are different.
Symptoms of Puncture Wound of Foot or Nail in Foot
The symptoms associated with puncture of wound of foot or nail in foot include:
- Mild bleeding at the site
- Painful scarring
- Watery discharge.
- Difficulty ambulating
Prognosis of Puncture Wound of Foot or Nail in Foot
If the puncture wound of foot or nail in foot is detected and treated early, then the chances of complete healing is good. However, if it is not treated and attended immediately, then the chances of complications are more. Similarly, injuries that develop as a result of puncture wound of foot or nail in foot in case of people with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy may take prolonged time to heal. This will also depend on the severity of the wound. The puncture wound of foot or nail in foot which are deep and caused from dirty objects or rusted nails are not easy to treat and may take longer time to heal.
Causes of Puncture Wound of Foot or Nail in Foot
Puncture wound of foot is caused by piercing injury by sharp objects such as needle, glass piece, thorn, hair clips and sharp stones etc. 98% of the injuries are caused due to piercing injury by the nails.
Risk Factors of Puncture Wound of Foot or Nail in Foot
Puncture wound of foot or nail in foot usually takes place when one walks barefoot, without footwear over sharp objects.
Complications of Puncture Wound of Foot or Nail in Foot
If not treated in time, puncture wound of foot or nail in foot may lead to serious complications such as:
- Constant irritation and pain
- Hard skin formation
- Wearing of socks and shoes may further enlarge the wound
- Infections make it difficult for the wound to heal.
Medical conditions such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease decrease the healing process of puncture wound of foot or nail in foot. In many cases, it leads to sepsis and consequently results in amputation.
Diagnosis of Puncture Wound of Foot or Nail in Foot
The doctor performs examination of the puncture wound to assess the severity of the puncture. It is also examined if the sharp object has been removed or is retained inside the wound. The circumstance in which such wound took place is also determined. If necessary an MRI or CT scan is performed.
Treatment of Puncture Wound of Foot or Nail in Foot
- The wound is cleaned very well and all the nonviable tissue present in this wound is removed. If the object of puncture wound of foot or nail in foot is retained then it should be removed. The wound should not be bandaged tightly. It should be regularly cleaned and antiseptics should be applied.
- Tetanus shots are given to prevent tetanus infection caused by anaerobic bacteria Clostridium tetani.
- Antibiotics are given according to the microbiology culture reports. In children, osteomyelitis is caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Hence, specific oral antibiotics are given to prevent specific infections as a result of puncture wound of foot or nail in foot.
- During the treatment of the puncture wound of foot or nail in foot, one should not wear socks or shoes since it may not allow the wound to heal properly.
Home Remedies of Puncture Wound of Foot or Nail in Foot
Thorough cleaning of the wound followed by application of antiseptic creams and bandage with a microspore is to be done. Pain relievers may be considered to mitigate the pain if present.
Prevention of Puncture Wound of Foot or Nail in Foot
One can only prevent puncture wound by wearing the right type of footwear rather than walking barefoot. Also the habit of throwing pins, needles, clips or any sharp objects on the house floor should be avoided. One should follow safety practices while handling sharp objects. Children should be taught to be careful. It is recommended to receive tetanus shots every 10 years to prevent tetanus infection.
Overall one should not ignore puncture wound of the foot since it can lead to major problems such as tetanus and osteomyelitis. Similarly foot injuries in people with medical conditions such as diabetes and peripheral neuropathy may require hospitalization for better treatment and healing of the wound.