The severity of puncture wounds
When you experience a puncture wound, it’s not just the object itself that becomes embedded into your foot. Dirt, debris, and other forms of bacteria will penetrate your foot along with common foot-puncturing objects such as nails, glass, pins, needles, and seashells. Any sterile objects that enter your foot can lead to major infections and difficulty with walking. The deeper the puncture, the higher your chance for experiencing infections and complications.
The severity of a puncture wound will depend roughly on how big or how long the object is, and on how rusty or dirty the item is at the time it punctures your foot. In some cases, particles from your sock or shoe can also become embedded in your foot if you step on a particularly sharp or long object.
Preventing puncture wounds
The best way to prevent puncture wounds in your feet is to wear socks and shoes as much as possible, and pay attention to where you’re walking to avoid placing your feet on sharp, dangerous objects.
Here are other ways to prevent puncture wounds if you’re using blunt or sharp objects or machinery:
- Set objects and tools aside if you’re distracted until you can pay closer attention to the activity at hand.
- Learn how to use tools, machinery, and equipment properly.
- Work in places that have good lighting so you can see what you’re doing, and where you’re stepping.
- Wear heavy-duty work boots, if appropriate.
- Carry objects with sharp, pointy ends away from your body.
- Power off and lock power tools when not in use.
- Do not use alcohol or drugs when operating or handling sharp objects.
Treating puncture wounds
If you’ve suffered a puncture wound in your foot, make an appointment to see your podiatrist as soon as possible, or within 24 hours of suffering the injury. Your podiatrist can clean and disinfect your wound, and perform an examination to verify that no further treatment is needed. In some cases, your foot doctor may x-ray your foot to determine whether bone damage has occurred, and if any debris remains in your foot. Regardless of the outcome, your podiatrist will recommend the best course of treatment to prevent you from experiencing complications down the road.
Have you stepped on a sharp object recently and suspect you may be at risk for infection? Call Kansas City Foot Specialists to schedule an evaluation at (913) 338-4440, or request an appointment online so we can determine the cause of your injury and get you back on your feet.