Bite wounds are serious, and patients that suffer this type of injury should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Many patients fail to get emergency treatment for bites, particularly when the puncture wound appears minor. However, bites put the blood, ligaments, tendons, and bones at risk of infection. An infection can cause localized cellulitis, an abscess, or sepsis. To prevent more serious conditions from developing, it is important to see a doctor that can evaluate your bite wound and provide appropriate treatment.

At The Hand Center at Crawford Plastic Surgery, Dr. Steven Bailey can treat your bite wound and limit the risk of infection. Contact our practice, serving the greater Atlanta, GA area, to undergo treatment for your bite wound.

What Are Bite Wounds?

In most cases, bite wounds are caused by animals, though in some cases, they may be caused by assault or altercation with another person. In either case, bites are a medical concern because they may result in deep infections or crush injuries.

Bite Wound Symptoms

Puncture wounds are the most obvious symptom of bites. However, in some cases, a bite may not break the skin, but can result tendon damage or bone fractures. This can result in pain, swelling, redness, and limited range of motion. If an infection develops, patients may experience fever, swollen glands, night sweats, or chills.

Causes of Bite Wounds

Animal bites often occur suddenly and without warning. Human bites may occur during altercations or athletic activities, such as when the hand or closed fist comes into contact with an open mouth.

Types of Bite Wounds

Bites from pets, such as dogs or cats, or exotic pets, such as snakes and ferrets, pose a risk of infection. Bites from certain animals, including bats, skunks, raccoons, or even pets with an unknown vaccination history pose a risk of rabies. Even a bite from another person can make you vulnerable to infection because of the amount of bacteria in the mouth.

Diagnosis of Bite Wounds

Dr. Bailey will diagnose your bite wound to develop an effective treatment plan by discussing the events that resulted in the bite. Cultures or blood tests may be taken to check for infection, and X-rays can be taken to check for fractured bones and see if any teeth fragments were lift in the tissues.

Treatment of Bite Wounds

To treat the bite, we will irrigate and clean the wound. We may remove damaged or dead tissue to promote healing. We may recommend a tetanus shot, IV antibiotics, or oral antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.

If a portion of the animal?s tooth was left in the tissues, we will anesthetize the hand and remove the foreign object.

If the bite results in tendon damage, we may perform tendon repair surgery to restore full function to the hand. In the case of bone fractures, pins, screws, or wires may be used to encourage proper healing.


Contact The Hand Center at Crawford Plastic Surgery to seek treatment for your bite wound.