What Is a Puncture Wound?

Puncture wounds are not the same as cuts. This type of wound has an entry hole caused by stepping on something sharp like a nail, broken glass, or a tack. Proper treatment within the first 24 hours is especially important. The foreign body can become embedded in the wound. If this happens, there is a chance for infection to develop.

Foreign Bodies in Puncture Wounds

Nails, glass, toothpicks, gardening tools and sewing needles are commonly stepped on. Often, these things break off inside the foot and become stuck. You may or may not be able to feel the object. It may cause some pain, or it may not. Either way, it is important to see a physician.


A puncture wound must be cleaned properly and monitored throughout the healing process to avoid complications. Do not try to clean deep inside the wound yourself. Instead, you can contact our office or go to an emergency room for immediate treatment of your wound.

Avoiding Complications

Infection is a common complication that can become serious if not treated correctly. Infection may develop in two to five days after injury. The signs of a minor infection include soreness, redness, and possibly drainage, swelling, and warmth, and may also develop a fever. If you notice any of these developing, see one of our physicians or go to an emergency room.