Q. There is a wooden splinter in my left ankle. Is there any risk of tetanus?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 04, 2017 and last reviewed on: Sep 07, 2021

Hi doctor,

I have a wooden splinter in my left ankle. While I was trying to get up from a wooden deck, my left ankle scraped on the wooden deck, and a wood splinter got in my ankle. It did not go in vertically, but it went in horizontally across the skin. I have attached a picture of the wound after I managed to take the bigger piece out. It is only bleeding a little after I took the big piece out, and as you can see, there is still a smaller piece left in there. So, I went to a doctor, and the doctor managed to take all the pieces out with a local anesthetic. The doctor opened up the wound, and there was some bleeding, the wound is now covered with a gauze. I asked the doctor whether there is any risk of tetanus, as I have not had a tetanus shot in more than ten years. I do not like the idea of having the vaccination and their possible side effects. The doctor said it should be fine without one, as it is not a deep puncture and the wooden deck does not have any rust. But I would like a second opinion, as I am quite worried about tetanus.



Welcome to

I have seen the attached picture (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

  • The wound is small, but there is certainly a small risk of tetanus. It is not only rusty objects that lead to tetanus, but the spores of this bacteria are even in soil and wood. I would advise getting a tetanus vaccination.

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