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Overview of puncture wounds

Larry M Baddour, MD, FIDSA
Section Editor
Daniel J Sexton, MD
Deputy Editor
Allyson Bloom, MD


Puncture wounds, particularly to the plantar surface of the foot, are common and occur in all age groups. For example, over 7 percent of patients with lower extremity trauma who presented to an emergency department in one survey had plantar puncture wounds [1]. Patients seek medical attention for these wounds for a variety of reasons including:

Questions about the need for tetanus immunization

Pain relief

Treatment of established infection involving soft tissues or musculoskeletal structures

The clinical aspects and treatment approach to puncture wounds are reviewed here. Puncture wounds that occur in specialized settings such as water exposure are discussed separately. (See "Soft tissue infections following water exposure".)


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Literature review current through: Oct 2015. | This topic last updated: Apr 30, 2015.
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