Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

I hate to admit this but I was chipping ice with a small but very sharp pick and it slipped. The pick went into my hand. There's a hole, but no bleeding. What should I do?

Answer:

Puncture wounds can be very deceptive. Although the wound looks minor, there can be damage to the deeper tissues. Infection is always a concern, too.

If the tool you were using was rusty or had been in a place like the garage or barn, a tetanus shot may be required. Swelling can be a sign of internal bleeding even if no blood comes from the wound site.

Contact your physician and see if an office visit is advised. Most injuries of this type don't really require a trip to the emergency department. Simple first aid and close observation may be all that's required.

Antibiotics are not used to prevent infection. But if signs of an infection develop, early intervention with antibiotics may be helpful. Paul W. Brown, MD. Pointers For Managing Common Hand Injuries. In The Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine. August 2007. Vol. 24. No. 8. Pp. 354-359.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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