Imagine yourself walking along barefoot, having a splendid afternoon.
Suddenly, you step on something quite sharp. And the resulting intense pain tells you it has penetrated your foot deeply.
You’re all alone. So now what do you do?
First you’ll have to remove the object, if it’s visible and if you can. Then you have to get yourself home or to an emergency room, urgent care clinic, or podiatrist.
If you’re near home, you can do a few basic things yourself:
How Podiatrists Treat Foot Punctures
After you’ve done the basic things above, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or urgent care as soon as possible.
Failing to receive proper treatment leads to painful infections. And in some cases, punctures can result in the loss of your limb, or even your life (if not treated at all).
Puncture wounds are usually more serious than they seem. So, you’re wise to have yours examined by a medical professional as soon after the event as possible.
When you get treated for a puncture wound, the medical professional first examines and cleans your wound. The podiatrist or ER doctor will make sure no debris remains inside your foot.
Imaging tests like X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, or CT scans may be necessary to ensure you have no debris remaining in your foot.
Afterward, you may get a prescription for antibiotics to prevent infection.
Recovery basically involves staying off your foot so it can heal. During this time, you need to remain vigilant for signs of infection, which include:
If you notice any of these, contact your podiatrist immediately.
If some sort of metal object caused your puncture, you may also be at risk for tetanus. The medical professional who treats you may recommend a tetanus shot or booster to ensure you don’t get it.
According to the CDC, 11% of untreated tetanus cases have resulted in fatalities in recent years.
So it’s important to make sure you are protected from it.
As long as you seek treatment promptly, you can expect a full recovery.
How Can You Prevent Foot Puncture Wounds?
When you’re outdoors, make sure you wear sturdy footwear that protects your feet from punctures.
If you see a wild or stray animal, avoid contact with it.
Make sure your children understand how to keep their feet safe outdoors.
And just keep a general vigilance for sharp objects which may be in your path.
Left untreated, puncture wounds can lead to amputation or even the loss of your life.
But when addressed promptly, you can expect a full recovery.
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