Lacerations

Mend Clinic | Orthopedic Urgent Care in Salem, Oregon

A lot of cuts and scrapes require a simple Band-Aid, but Mend Clinic is open seven days a week for those occasions in which lacerations are serious—or even questionable. Stitches, sutures, or staples may be required to completely close and safely heal a laceration. How do you know when medical care is necessary? If you have any doubts at all, it’s always a good idea to play it safe. Fortunately, Salem, OR’s ER alternative means you can be seen faster and out of pocket expenses are often lower than going to a traditional emergency room.

Mend Clinic has the equipment and the talent to treat lacerations on all areas of the body including the fingers, feet, arms, and face. With a no appointment necessary policy, we can treat your laceration fast and efficiently so you can get on your way sooner. Learn why patients choose Mend Clinic as their ER alternative in Salem, Oregon. Book your appointment online, walk-in, or call (971) 204-8410.

But is it a cut or laceration? What’s the difference?

There is a difference. By definition, a cut is a skin wound with a separation of connective tissue. No skin is missing, but it is separated. Most cuts are caused by a sharp object, and the cut is a relatively straight line.

A laceration implies a torn or jagged wound. They tend to be caused by sharp objects. Cut and lacerations are terms that might be used interchangeably. It can also be contaminated with bacteria and debris from the object that caused the injury. A laceration can vary in length. If a laceration is longer than half an inch or deeper than ¼ inch, it is best to have it checked out by medical professionals as it may require stitches. Both can require medical attention.

A puncture wound is typically caused by a sharp, pointy object such as a nail, tack, pin, or possibly an animal tooth. These types of wounds generally don’t bleed very much and can appear to close up quickly after the injury. A puncture wound is usually small in size but can be very deep.  Even though a puncture wound is small in diameter, it can still become infected and should be treated appropriately.

A “gash” is typically used to imply a deeper or longer cut.

If you have tissue and skin that is not only cut, but also torn away from the body, it is called an “avulsion.”

Lacerations | Mend Clinic Urgent Care, Salem

Questions About Lacerations

Quick Facts About Lacerations:
  • A cut or laceration is one of the easiest medical conditions to diagnose.
  • If a cut is deep enough, you may see underlying tissue, muscles, or bone.
  • You will most likely see blood, unless it is a puncture wound.
  • It can be very painful, but in some cases there is no pain and you might not realize you have a cut or laceration until you see blood or the wound re-opens.
When do you need medical care for a cut or laceration?

If you haven’t had a tetanus booster in the last 10 years (and many adults haven’t), it’s best to visit a physician. You’ll get a booster shot along with treatment for the cut or laceration. However, if your laceration is caused by a dirty object or is a complex cut, you’re at a higher risk of infection and it’s paramount to seek medical attention. Most people need a tetanus booster every five to ten years, but it’s not a priority for a lot of people.

Why can’t I call to see if I need medical attention?

It is very difficult to give care advice over the phone. It’s always safer to see a medical professional to ensure the best healing and lower your risk of infection or scarring. However, if you’re uncertain whether or not to get medical attention, ask yourself these questions:

  • Can you stop the bleeding?
  • Are the wound edges separated?
  • Can you adequately clean the wound?
  • Is it possible that any underlying damage to nerves or tendons may have happened?

Mend Clinic can provide a fast and easy assessment of your laceration. Both adults and children are treated at this Salem, OR urgent care clinic, and lacerations on the head are a specialty. The procedure will be performed on-site with outpatient follow-up to ensure adequate healing. If there is any concern for poor scarring, Mend Clinic will offer a referral to a staff cosmetic surgeon.

Lacerations | Mend Clinic Urgent Care, Salem

Finger Tip Injuries and Nail Bed Lacerations

The fingers and nail beds are extremely sensitive. Anyone who’s experienced a papercut or cut their fingernails too short know just how painful these finger lacerations can be. Injuries to the fingertip are one of the most common hand injury complaints. We use our fingertips, and fingernails, for a lot. But did you know injuring your fingertip or nail bed can lead to orthopedic injuries, too?

The fingertip bone, or distal phalanx, is surrounded by many sensitive nerves. Without fast treatment, a fingertip injury can lead to hand function problems, permanent deformities, or even a disability. Additionally, the fingernail and nail bed is part of the fingertip construct. Below the nail bed is a sea of nerves as well as bone. Even if the injury doesn’t look particularly bad, a sensitive area has been exposed. Even though fingertip and nail bed injuries can be serious, even when they don’t look it, many patients don’t think going to the ER is reasonable for a seemingly minor injury. Waiting days for an appointment with your general physician isn’t just frustrating, but also wastes valuable time.

Lacerations | Mend Clinic Urgent Care, Salem

Tendon and Nerve Injuries Associated with Laceration

Tendons are a sinewy connective tissue that connects muscle to bone. They’re designed to withstand a lot of tension and pressure, but they can be sprained, torn—and even cut. Nerves are fibrous bundles throughout the body in charge of sending sensation signals to the spinal cord and/or brain. One of the most well-known nerves is the “funny bone,” which isn’t a bone at all. It’s a nerve that runs down the inner elbow and tells the brain about sensations in the pinky and ring finger.

Patients who’ve suffered a cut, or laceration, might also experience tendon or nerve injuries. However, these injuries aren’t always immediately noticeable. It can take days or sometimes weeks for laceration-induced nerve or tendon damage to show up.

Lacerations are often thought of as a cut to the skin, but it can also include blunt force trauma. What does orthopedics, or bone specialists, have to do with lacerations? Quite a bit, which is why Mend Clinic considers laceration treatment one of its specialties. There are two primary ways lacerations can impact orthopedics: tendon/nerve damage related to lacerations, and fingertip and/or nail bed lacerations. Learn more about types of orthopedic injuries we treat, read reviews, and see why patients choose Mend Clinic as their ER alternative in Salem, Oregon. Book your appointment online, walk-in, or call (971) 204-8410.

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