A puncture wound is an injury to the foot caused by stepping on a sharp, pointed object that breaks the skin. Unlike a cut or scrape that injures the surface of the skin, a puncture wound is often deeper and may not bleed at the time of the injury, so it may be challenging to detect. Even if a puncture wound seems minor, if it is not treated properly, it can become infected and lead to more severe complications. This can be especially dangerous for those with diabetes, which can make healing a wound more difficult. Treating foot puncture wounds

Common Causes and Symptoms of Puncture Wounds

A puncture wound can occur if you step on an object such as a nail, metal, glass, or anything sharp that can penetrate the layers of skin on the foot. A puncture wound can occur if a person is walking barefoot but can also happen if shoe soles are thin and offer little protection. Another cause of a puncture wound is an animal bite.

Some puncture wounds are small and can easily go undetected since they may not bleed when the injury first occurs. While many people will feel a puncture wound, those with diabetes may not feel pain at all due to a lack of sensation in the feet.

Signs of a Puncture Wound

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Warmth
  • Drainage
  • Bleeding
  • Open sore

Puncture Wound Treatment and Prevention

If you suffer a puncture wound, don’t ignore it. See a podiatrist right away, since this kind of foot wound can quickly turn into something more serious. A podiatrist will examine the wound to determine the severity of the injury and remove any foreign objects that may have lodged into the foot. Imaging tests such as an X-ray, a CT scan, or an ultrasound may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.

How Puncture Wounds Are Treated

  • Getting a tetanus shot. You may need a tetanus shot if the object that caused the injury was rusty or dirty. 
  • Cleaning the wound. A podiatrist can clean the wound and remove any foreign objects or debris.
  • Covering the wound. You may need to keep the wound covered with a dressing or bandage to keep out germs.
  • Off-loading. You may be told to keep pressure off the wound by using a walking aid such as crutches.
  • Using antibiotics. You may need to take oral or intravenous antibiotics to prevent or treat an infection.
  • Monitoring for infection. You may be asked to monitor the wound for signs of infection such as a fever, redness, or swelling around the site of the puncture.

Early treatment is essential to prevent the puncture wound from becoming more serious. If left untreated, a puncture wound can lead to complications such as an infection. An infection can spread to surrounding tissue or bone, and amputation may be needed to prevent death if the infection cannot be controlled.

Prevention Tips

  • Always wear shoes to protect your feet
  • Do a daily self-check of your feet to look for any signs of injury or abnormality
  • Contact a podiatrist at the first sign of a problem

Contact Our Texas Diabetes Foot Care Podiatrist

If you have diabetes and have a puncture wound on your foot, contact Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists as soon as possible.  We can create a treatment plan based on the severity of the wound and your specific needs. To schedule an appointment, fill out our contact form, or call our office at 817-481-4000.