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Foreign Bodies Specialist

Foot & Ankle Specialty Center

Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Willow Grove, PA

The soles of your feet are tough, but they aren’t invincible. Stepping on a nail, splinter, fishing hook, or other foreign body is painful and puts you at risk of infection or other, more serious problems. The board-certified podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Specialty Center in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, possess extensive training in the identification and removal of foreign bodies. If you’re experiencing foot pain, call or use the online booking tool to request an appointment today.

Foreign Bodies Q & A

What are the symptoms of a foreign body in my foot?

The symptoms of foreign body pain range from mild to severe. A small splinter or cactus spike may cause a pinprick sensation, while stepping on a tack or nail can cause excruciating pain. 

In addition to pain and throbbing, you may also experience “foreign body sensation” or the feeling that something is stuck or trapped beneath the surface of your skin.

Are there different types of foreign bodies?

Any object or device capable of puncturing your skin qualifies as a foreign body. Some of the most common types of foreign bodies that enter your feet include:

  • Splinters
  • Barbed wire
  • Fishing hooks
  • Pencil led
  • Sewing needles

Broken glass, spicules of fiberglass, and sharp plastic are also categorized as foreign bodies.

How can I prevent foreign bodies from entering my feet?

The easiest and most effective way to prevent foreign body wounds is by wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes and socks. This is particularly true during the spring and summer months, when many people wear sandals or have bare feet. 

You can also lower your risk by paying attention and watching where you step. When you look at the ground in front of you, it’s much easier to spot (and avoid) potential threats.

How are foreign bodies treated?

The treatment for foreign bodies depends on the location and severity of your puncture wound. Small splinters and wood fragments are safe to remove at home with tweezers, but more invasive injuries often require professional assistance.

During your appointment, the team at Foot & Ankle Specialty Center thoroughly inspects your wound and the source of your discomfort. If the foreign body isn’t visible, they may order an X-ray or MRI to get a better look.

After pinpointing the foreign body, your doctor numbs your foot with a local anesthetic and carefully removes it during a minimally invasive, outpatient surgery. During the operation, you’re awake but feel no pain. Your doctor carefully stitches or staples the wound and then provides you with a list of careful recovery instructions. 

If a foreign body negatively impacts your ability to walk and participate in daily activities, help is available. Call or use the online booking tool to request an appointment at Foot & Ankle Specialty Center today.