Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Orthopedic Teaching

Soft Tissue Case 3 History/Physical Exam

Wound Foreign Body


History and Physical Exam

Certain scenarios should raise suspicion for WFBs. To name a few:


• Stepping on glass
• Punching through a window
• Motor vehicle collision wounds
• Wounds on the sole of the foot
• Objects that fragment while in one's hand
• Perioral wounds with broken teeth
• Falling in gravel or soil
• Scalp wound from glass
• Punctures

Wounds should be palpated for FBs, but any probing should occur with a metal instrument rather than a gloved finger. The most important part of the examination is wound exploration, which should be performed in a bloodless field with anesthesia when appropriate.