ZocdocAnswersHow can I get gravel out of wound?

Question

How can I get gravel out of wound?

Today i fell in the parking lot and scraped my elbow pretty deep. I waited until i got to the store where i was going to clean it out, it took about 20 minutes to get there. I had it cleaned out and out a bandage on it but there is dirt and gravel still embedded in the cut. I was wondering how i could get the dirt and gravel out, and if i should see a doctor. Please Help.

Answer

Given your injury, I would recommend that you see a doctor for your wound and proper management. Falls onto extremities can be associated with damage to the skin and soft tissues, but also the underlying muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. It is important to see a healthcare professional who can perform the appropriate physical exam necessary to discern whether the underlying bone, ligament and tendons may be injured. In the setting of a dirty wound with foreign bodies still present, your doctor will likely wash the wound out vigorously to remove the visible debris. This can be very painful, therefore sometimes it is necessary to first provide local numbing medication. It may also be necessary to get imaging such as x-ray to assess for further imbedded foreign bodies, bone fracture and joint dislocation. If further injury is found, such as fracture or dislocation, your injury will need to be assessed by a specialist, and possibly set and immobilized. Finally, infection is important to consider with contaminated open wounds. Your doctor may provide you with a tetanus shot if you last vaccination is out of date. Antibiotics may also be necessary if there are signs of local skin infection. There are different ointments and dressing supplies that are available in most healthcare clinics that will provide your wound with proper protection and help with wound healing.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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