Medical Specialty >> Surgery

Doctors Lounge - Surgery Answers

Back to Surgery Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 8/19/2017.

Forum Name: Surgery Topics

Question: Glass piece under nail.

 mailmegv - Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:35 am

A small piece of glass from an antibiotic bottle which broke went into the skin below my thumbnail and it is so small that i cannot even see it. And it hurts a lot. What should i do?
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:49 am

User avatar Hi,
Not all glass pieces are visible in plain X-ray films. The lead content in the glass determins this. Higher the lead content, more is the radio-opacity. Glass from vials and ampoules may not show up on plain films.

As you seem to have pain, it is probable that the foreign body is still in situ.I presume you had shown to a doctor and updated your tetanus immunity status.You have not mentioned when this injury happened.If it is very recent,under supervision,one may decide on a wait and watch policy under antibiotic cover.If the pain persists, a surgical exploration may be warrented.
Best wishes!

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us