One of the most common maladies to befall a foot is a foreign body. Children step on splinters, adults step on glass, and feet come in contact with sharp plant leavings. Most people try to remove the foreign body from their foot. However, to avoid making a worse wound or an infection, it is important that the foot is fully cleaned with soap and water before attempting to remove the object. If the object is not visible, go to an open urgent care, hospital or doctor’s office where the professionals have the tools to visualize and remove the object. Even if you are able to remove the foreign body, keep the area clean, covered with a bandage and consider and antibiotic ointment. Monitor the wound site for signs of infection, including redness, swelling, streaks, pain, pus and smell. If you notice any of these signs worsening or spreading, go directly to the emergency room.
If you do need to visit your doctor or podiatrist for a foreign body:
- The doctor may request that you get radiographs or ultrasound to find the object
- If possible, they may try to remove the object in the office
- If the object is too deep or the infection is extensive, they will recommend cleaning the wound in the operating room
- After the object is removed, there is no guarantee that there are no remaining particles in the foot; it is important to keep the site clean and monitor for any signs of infection
- The body may eject, absorb or form a fibrous wall of tissue around the object if a portion remains; it may never get infected or cause pain
It is important that larger, deeper or poorly visualized objects are removed by a professional. They have the tools and the positioning to remove the foreign body properly. Remember, do not delay treatment if you notice signs of infection; see your doctor/podiatrist right away.
Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus, Gahanna or Dublin, OH office.