Foot laceration is quite a common occurrence as the feet, when not protected, comes into contact with all kinds of sharp objects on a daily basis. Even stubbing the feet against a sharp piece of furniture could cause a laceration. The laceration could be a superficial wound or it could be a deep injury that causes trauma to muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. Laceration repair is commonly done to treat and heal this kind of trauma.
Treatment Options for Lacerations
The treatment for lacerations can be as simple as an antiseptic wash and a sticky plaster (in case of a superficial cut) to surgical procedures and skin grafting for deep wounds. Treatment options can include:
These are effective for small, simple lacerations for wounds that are very mild and in low-tension areas. They are not for use in deep cuts as they can lead to wound dehiscence.
Tissue adhesives are useful when a quick out-patient treatment is sufficient for laceration repair of the wound. It can be applied quickly and requires no anesthesia. With tissue adhesives, there is no necessity for a follow-up visit because they fall off by themselves in a few days.
Suturing is one of the first skills that a medical student learns and is widely used for laceration repair of deep wounds. During the procedure, the area around the wound is cleaned and a local anaesthetic may be given to numb the area.
The type of suture will depend on the severity of the laceration. Sometimes one layer of sutures may suffice. If the muscle or tendon has been cut, the repair may need multiple layers of sutures. The inside sutures will be made with absorbable material and the outside will have stronger non-absorbable sutures. After the procedure, the wound will be cleaned up and dressed.
Usually, follow-up care is necessary to check on the wound and the sutures as there is risk of infection, and for the removal of the sutures.
When Are Skin Grafts Necessary for Foot Lacerations?
In severe cases of foot laceration, the suturing and the subsequent scarring could cause deformities in the feet or leave deep scars. Skin grafting may be needed to rectify the deformities or to get rid of the scarring.