What to do if you step on a nail?
If you step on a nail, especially a dirty nail, you really need to seek medical attention. There they should give you a tetanus booster if you need one, take x-rays to make sure there is no debris still in your foot, clean out the wound, and put you on antibiotics. These injuries can be very bad if not treated properly. Here at Easy Orthopedics in Colorado, we take nail foot puncture wounds very seriously.
Do I need to get a tetanus shot if I step on a nail?
If you step on a nail you will need to get a tetanus booster shot if it has been over 10 years since your last booster, or you can’t remember when you got your last booster. Ideally this should be done within the first 48 hours after the injury, but if not then as soon as possible. A tetanus infection can be fatal and is typified by multiple muscles spasming intensely.
Should I be worried if I stepped on a nail?
Stepping on a nail is a serious matter. Especially if the nail is outside, rusty, or dirty, and went through the bottom of your shoe or sandal. The issue is that the nail can deposit a lot of bacteria inside your foot, and since the wound is so deep and thin, that bacteria may not be able to get out. This will lead to an infection of your foot and likely surgery with IV antibiotics. That is why it needs to be cleaned and examined by a professional. That being said, if it is a clean nail and doesn’t go that deep into your foot, you may be able to watch it and apply topical antibiotics.
What to expect after stepping on a nail?
If you’ve stepped on a nail and it went through the bottom of your shoe, was dirty, or went deep into your foot, you should definitely seek medical attention. They will likely make sure that your tetanus vaccine status is up to date, if not then they will give you a booster. Next, they should take x-rays to make sure that there are no retained foreign bodies and that there is no damage to the bone. They should then copiously clean out the wound with betadine and or sterile saline. They should then wrap your foot and discharge you with the appropriate antibiotics. You will want to follow up with your doctor almost weekly to make sure that it is healing well.
I hope we were able to answer some of your questions about what to do if you step on a nail. If you would like us to evaluate your foot and are in the Colorado area, contact us below to make an appointment.