What is a Laceration?
A laceration is an open cut or wound that happens when the skin tissue or muscle is torn. Lacerations may be caused by sharp objects or glass shards. If the object is made of metal and is rusted, a tetanus shot may need to be taken,if you are due for one. Laceration repair is the procedure used to clean, prepare and close open wounds.
Causes of laceration
- Clean, incised wounds due to a sharp object, like glass shards, knives, etc.
- Irregular tears caused by blunt trauma.
- Abrasions caused by a sliding fall onto a rough surface.
- Puncture wounds caused by pointed objects like nails or needles.
Types of Lacerations
A skin laceration is a minor cut that breaks the skin, leaving an open wound. If the cut is minor, it will heal on its own. An antiseptic ointment, surgical tape, skin glue and a medicated band aid should help the healing process. Deeper cuts may require a visit to the podiatrist to get sutures. The kind of treatment for the laceration depends on the location of the wound and the severity.
If the cut is a penetrating wound, it could injure nerves of the feet causing a tear. If a nerve is cut, you could lose sensation in that area of the feet. It could also lead to clawing of the toes because of imbalance between intrinsic and extrinsic muscles.
During a surgical nerve repair procedure, injured tissue or scars will be removed from the injured nerve. Then, the nerve can be directly reconnected if there is enough length on the ends to allow for a good quality repair without tension.
Some common nerve lacerations that could occur are tears along the tibial nerve, digital nerves, peroneal nerve and their respective branches.
Severe tendon lacerations around the foot and ankle can be caused by penetration of a sharp object onthe bottom of the foot. If the wound is severe, a procedure will be required. In tendon laceration repair, the injured parts of the tendon will be removed. Then, the tendon will be reconnected again as long as there is enough length on the ends for a successful repair without tension.
Skin graft for tendon rupture
If there isn’t enough healthy tendon to reconnect, the surgeon may take a bit of tendon from elsewhere in the body and do a tendon graft. This means replacing the compromised tendon with a healthy bit of tissue. The graft could be taken from the foot or toe.
Some common tendon lacerations that occur are in theAchilles tendon, tibialis anterior tendon, peroneal tendonsor the tibialis posterior tendon.
In case of a foot laceration, it is important to see a doctor to get the wound cleaned. It may need sutures, depending on how severe the laceration is. The wound should be dressed properly. If it is a minor laceration, the podiatrist will dress it up, give a tetanus shot if necessary and send you home. If it is severe, the podiatrist will offer the best solution to repair it.