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Old 04-25-2010, 08:43 AM
sparky! sparky! is offline
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Whatever you do, avoid stepping on a nail

I helped a friend with a little demo project yesterday. Unfortunately, I wore my sneakers instead of boots.

Anyway, I had a large beam torn down that had nails from the joist hangers exposed.

I was going to cut the beam into smaller pieces after I picked up some of the joists and other garbage; stuff like wall board and other trash.

I got so caught up on cleaning that I inadvertently stepped on one of the nails protruding from the beam.

The sneaker sole did absolutely nothing to stop the nail from going in. The nail felt like it went a good half inch or more into my foot a few inches behind the small toe.

When I got the sneaker off, the sock was covered in blood.

I was able to quickly clean up the wound and bandage it, then took the sock from my good foot and put it on the bad one, and was able to keep working the rest of day with not too much pain.

Then comes this morning when I wake up and get out of bed. Holy hell, I have never felt such pain as trying to put weight on my foot! Now I'm stuck walking on the toes of that foot in order to keep weight off the wound. It seems so strange that a wound that now looks like a tiny red dot can inflict such muscle-throbbing pain.

So take my advice: avoid stepping on a nail at all cost.
Old 04-25-2010, 08:46 AM
Mame Mame is offline
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Are your tetanus shots up-to-date? Get thee to a doctor, NOW.
Old 04-25-2010, 08:51 AM
sparky! sparky! is offline
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Originally Posted by Mame View Post
Are your tetanus shots up-to-date? Get thee to a doctor, NOW.
Yep. I'm all good. Just the damn pain.
Old 04-25-2010, 09:03 AM
RalfCoder RalfCoder is offline
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Location: Grand Ledge,Michigan, USA
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Watch the site for signs of infection - puffiness, redness, tenderness. If these develop, get thee to a doctor, post-haste.

I am no medical professional, but even I know that puncture wounds like this can let contaminants get deep into tissue, and can be a bitch to deal with. If you think the pain you feel is a pain in the ass, wait until you have a deep-seated infection that keeps you off your feet for a couple of weeks.
Old 04-25-2010, 09:17 AM
Salem Salem is offline
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Ouch. Holes in the bottom of the foot are not fun at all, and I do speak from experience. Ouch.

Just be sure to keep an eye on it, as I'm sure you are. Any red lines start appearing to crawl up your leg....well, I'm sure you know what to do.

Good luck and hope it heals quickly and easily.
Old 04-25-2010, 09:28 AM
sparky! sparky! is offline
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I'm keeping a close eye on it. I did a good (and painful) job cleaning it yesterday when it happened and my shots are up to date.

I am just amazed that such a small wound can be so incredibly painful.

I once punctured my calf muscle on a dirt bike kick-starter. That made a 1/4" hole in my leg and hurt like all hell. This foot wound is only a tiny dot, yet hurts nearly as bad.

Weird how that works.

I'm finally able to walk lightly on it. Perhaps I should soak it later.
Old 04-25-2010, 10:11 AM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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IANAD but....

A few years ago I did the same thing. However, it was the most minor of puncture wounds. Very small and barely made it into the second layer of skin. So shallow and small I could not get ANY blood to come out. The layer of skin on my foot that it had managed to make it to was the stuff thats more like a damp version of the outer tough part on the bottom of my foot.

It was such a minor puncture, it was painless 5 minutes later. I wasnt too worried cause it was small, nothing was in there that I could see, and even then I did a pretty thorough job of cleaning it out and sterilizing it. My tentnus was up to date.

Next morning the hole foot hurt. By the end of the day it was way too painful to walk on. I finally decided it was emergency room time. I had to hop on one foot into the emergency room. It had got infected and was spreading fast. I have little doubt that if I had not gotten treatment very bad things would have happened. Oh yeah, the doctor said the infection probably didnt come from the nail itself, it came from all those nasty germs that live in most peoples slightly funky shoes. Ironically, if I had been barefoot, like usual in my yard, this probably wouldnt have happened.

In my lay opinion, the pain getting worse means there is a good chance an infection has set in and is spreading. Why else would a minor injury like that hurt MORE later.

Get thee to a doctor now.

Last edited by billfish678; 04-25-2010 at 10:14 AM.
Old 04-25-2010, 12:19 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Fourthed / fifthed / sixthed.... go see a doc.

You might be OK on the infection front, but what if you damaged a nerve, a blood vessel, or a bone???

I had a similar accident, when I was a kid - stepped on a nail, went RIGHT through my sneaker sole. Then while I was stumbling around looking for a place to sit down, I managed to step on it *again*. In a different spot on the same foot. Why yes, I'm a klutz, why do you ask?

I remember being too scared to tell my parents. Fortunately for me, no infection - and I just happened to have my tetanus booster a few days later anyway.
Old 04-25-2010, 12:37 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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I was tearing down an old barn a few years ago and I was trying to move a section of a beam that was really to heavy for me and studded with rusty square nails. I made quick turn and couldn't stop it from swinging before it hit me in the side right above my hip bone. The old nail went straight in deeply. It didn't bleed much but it did get infected badly over the next two days before I went to the doctor and it looked disgusting. I had to take a strong round of antibiotics and get get shots. It healed just fine though.
Old 04-25-2010, 01:53 PM
sparky! sparky! is offline
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Wow, scary stories.

There is still a little swelling, but the pain is mostly down to a dull ache and I'm walking on it without much difficulty.

If anything changes, then I'll take everyone's advice and see the Dr.
Old 04-25-2010, 03:44 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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You probably don't need the safety lecture at this point; I imagine you've got it now. I don't really understand why people have to injure themselves before they get it, though. I *know* what rocks flying out of my lawnmower will do to my eyes; I don't need to catch one in the eye to know to put my safety glasses on.
Old 04-25-2010, 04:43 PM
Superfluous Parentheses Superfluous Parentheses is offline
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Ouch. Be careful with that.

Anyway, when barefoot, avoid stepping on a snail too. It's quite nasty.
Old 04-25-2010, 06:29 PM
Maiira Maiira is offline
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I just got over a pretty bad infection a few weeks ago from an untreated ruptured blister on the back of my ankle, so I'm going to agree with the consensus here. Watch it like a hawk. If the swelling gets larger, turns red, and gets warm to the touch, or if you get red lines coming out of the wound, go to the doctor immediately.

As for me, I was stupid and waited till my ankle got HUGE before I went to the doctor. And my sister (who popped a blister on her hand with an earring back) waited until she saw the red lines spidering up her arm before going. Don't be like us.
Old 04-26-2010, 12:01 AM
TheChileanBlob TheChileanBlob is offline
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Owee, I stepped on a nail like that when I was 13. My friend and I were cleaning up an old barn for a playhouse. I stepped down and then was puzzled because I couldn't lift my foot due to the large board attached to it. My friend was pissed because I was wearing her sneakers. We went back to her house, where she cautioned me not to bleed on her mother's kitchen floor.
By that night my foot was so swollen it was rounded on the bottom. I didn't need a tetanus shot, but I did have to soak my foot in Epsom salts for about a week.
Old 04-26-2010, 12:47 AM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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In my ER, the docs always treat a plantar puncture wound that passed through your shoe with antibiotics. It's highly unlikely that you effectivley cleaned a deep punture wound, it really can't be done.
Old 04-26-2010, 07:23 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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In related news, I managed to hit my head on an exposed nail yesterday and make a hole in my scalp. Granted, it was the head of the nail and not the business end, but it was one of those ones with a narrow shaped head so it was still pretty sharp.

The weekend project was to take the old loft hatch, which was the type that just rests in the opening and lifts up, and fit it with hinges so that it would open downwards, so I can fit a loft ladder. Of course, this involved removing the trim from around the hacth, which left some exposed nails. "Hmm, I'll need to take those out at some point," I thought. "But they're up on the ceiling, it's not like I'm going to stand on them."

Later, my wife's calling that dinner's ready and I really should get cleaned up and stop playing around in the lotf (playing around?), so I quickly climb up the stepladder to retrieve some tools, and... smack... OUCH

Anyway, after a bit of muted swearing, I go down for dinner and try and ignore the throbbing. Halfway through dinner my wife inquires whether I am aware there is blood trickling down my forehead.

Trepanning - leave it to the experts, kids.
Old 04-26-2010, 07:37 AM
sparky! sparky! is offline
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The swelling is gone now and I can walk with my full weight and have just a little pain.

Something that frustrated me that day was I had a rental car (minor fender-bender last week). I keep first aid stuff, socks and boots in the trunk of my car. Those items would have been really handy.
Old 04-26-2010, 09:10 AM
Salem Salem is offline
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Glad you're feeling better and hope the good healing continues.

Isn't it always the way? You probably haven't needed that first aid kit in a hundred years, but the one time...... yep.
Old 04-26-2010, 09:51 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Originally Posted by Salem View Post

Just be sure to keep an eye on it, as I'm sure you are. Any red lines start appearing to crawl up your leg....well, I'm sure you know what to do.
Yeah, you'll need a hacksaw and some rope.
Old 04-26-2010, 04:57 PM
control-z control-z is offline
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We were tearing a semi-rotten plywood roof off an old carport, and throwing the plywood pieces down into my truck. For some reason when I was getting down off the roof I decided to jump from the roof into the back of my truck, forgetting that the plywood had nails in it sticking several inches up through the wood.

Somehow, my feet missed all the nails but everyone just froze when they saw me do it, then we let out a huge collective sigh of relief.
Old 04-26-2010, 06:09 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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Happened to me when I was a kid playing in a construction site (Not the best place for kids to play. I realize that now).

The strange thing is, I don't remember it being all that painful. I was more shocked by the fact that a nail went through my foot than I was worried about the pain.
Old 04-26-2010, 11:21 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
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Originally Posted by Rigamarole View Post
The strange thing is, I don't remember it being all that painful.
Same here. Stepped on a board that one of my sisters left in the driveway when I was 9 or so. Didn't even notice there was a nail in my food until she asked where I was standing.

The key in my foot, now that hurt!
Old 04-27-2010, 12:47 AM
Happy Fun Ball Happy Fun Ball is offline
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I'm glad the pain is going away, if it comes back hie thee to a doctor pronto, I once contracted a nasty case of cellulitis from a scratch on my foot that took lots of time and antibiotics to control... No fun and pretty scary.

Now another story: when I was about 6-7 years old I stepped on a glass hummingbird, something like this. The beak went about .5-.75 inches into my foot right in the center of my arch and then shattered. Fun for all involved!
Old 04-27-2010, 07:43 AM
Salem Salem is offline
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OOoooh, L.G., that makes my foot hurt just thinking about it.

When I was in my 20s, I worked at a residential facility for people with developmental disabilities and it was a beautiful campus with lots of trees and grassy areas between the many buildings. One day I was walking barefoot down a hill, took a step and "pop" something metal went right in. I literally felt the skin pop. Ewww. And then saw lots of blood.

I was close to the residential building in which I had my office and thankfully there were nurses on staff 24/7. I was in the ladies room with the door open, trying to wash my foot, which was bleeding profusely. Someone ran to get one of the nurses and of course the dippiest nurse of all was on duty. She ran in all in a panic as though she'd never seen an injury before and started nervously clucking around me, looking at my foot, looking around... she then runs out and runs back in a few minutes later with a large bottle in hand, proudly proclaiming, "I've got Betadine Douche! I've got Betadine Douche!" as she starts pouring it over my foot..... Now, I realize it was a hole in my foot and all, but really......


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