Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor tetanus Home Care pain control warning signs Prevention Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Puncture Wound Treatment

Treatment for a puncture wound often includes wound irrigation, wound cleansing, and exploration of the wound. Additional treatment may include removal of a wound foreign body, wound repair, antibiotics, or tetanus vaccination. A severe puncture wound may require surgery to repair damaged tissue.

Treatment options for a puncture wound include:

Puncture Wound Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of a puncture wound.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Will I need surgery?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • Will I need occupational therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for puncture wound complications?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Puncture Wound Tetanus

Most children born in the US have received three tetanus shots (boosters) in the past, because these boosters are part of the usual vaccination schedule. Additional tetanus boosters are given every 10 years.

Those who require treatment to prevent tetanus include:


Dirty wounds include:
  • Wounds that occur outdoors
  • Wounds that contain dirt or foreign material
  • Wounds caused by bites

Treatment Options

Tetanus Vaccine and TIG Recommendations
HistoryClean, Minor WoundOther Wounds
< 3 boostersgive Tdgive Td + TIG
3 boosterspossible Tdpossible Td

Clean and minor wounds may need a booster if it has been more than 10 years since the last tetanus vaccine. Other wounds may need a booster if it has been more than 5 years since last tetanus vaccine.

Continue to Puncture Wound Home Care

Last Updated: Jan 3, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Puncture Wound References
  1. Baldwin G, Colbourne M. Puncture wounds. Pediatr Rev. 1999 Jan;20(1):21-3. [9919048]
  2. Harrison M, Thomas M. Towards evidence based emergency medicine: best BETs from the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Antibiotics after puncture wounds to the foot. Emerg Med J. 2002 Jan;19(1):49. [11777876]
  3. Haverstock BD, Grossman JP. Puncture wounds of the foot. Evaluation and treatment. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 1999 Oct;16(4):583-96. [10553222]
  4. Laughlin TJ, Armstrong DG, Caporusso J, Lavery LA. Soft tissue and bone infections from puncture wounds in children. West J Med. 1997 Feb;166(2):126-8. [9109329]
  5. Lavery LA, Walker SC, Harkless LB, Felder-Johnson K. Infected puncture wounds in diabetic and nondiabetic adults. Diabetes Care. 1995 Dec;18(12):1588-91. [8722056]
  6. Weber EJ. Plantar puncture wounds: a survey to determine the incidence of infection. J Accid Emerg Med. 1996 Jul;13(4):274-7. [8832349]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.