After watching the playoff games between Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks a couple of weeks ago, I felt the urge to go out to my local roller hockey court and play a friendly game with a couple of friends of mine.
To cut a long story short in the midst of playing this friendly game I managed to have a spectacular fall on the court and which produced a massive 3 inch gap – on the right-hand side of my head just above my ear and alongside my temple. Needless to say that I was not wearing any headgear (helmet) at all which is always a big no-no when one plays roller hockey on a hard surface and especially at my age.
Clearly I went directly to emergency and waited about four hours to see the hospital physician. The gash on the side of my head was about 3 inches long and required 12 stitches.
Now, it is important to let you know that I have on multiple occasions had stitches due to injuries I incurred by playing rugby in my youth, so now I have a pretty good idea on what could happen if I do not take proper care of this injury. In the past I have neglected to take proper care of lacerations with the result being massive infections. Therefore in this post I would like to educate some of you on how to take care of a cut which has been stitched up as to prevent swelling and infection.
If ever it happens that you have incurred a cut, laceration to your scalp please follow what I am about to tell you.
A stitched up laceration regardless if it’s on your scalp on your head, your arm, your leg or where ever it is located, the most important thing for you to remember is to keep it clean at all times. Keeping your injury clean will prevent infection from occurring. The best way of doing this is to make sure that you wash the laceration very delicately as not to open up the cut even further. This can be done by taking a soft sponge immersed in soapy water and dabbing the laceration continuously until you feel that the cut has been properly cleaned. Never rub the sponge, cloth or whatever you’re using on the cut where the stitches are located, always use the “dabbing” method. Once the area that you have just washed has dried, use a very thin layer of antiseptic ointment and spread it along the stitched area.
The next step is to take an anti-inflammatory medication such as Norco which will reduce the pain and prevent too much swelling occurring. Depending on where the injury, or cut is on your head it is more than likely going to cause some form of facial swelling especially on the forehead and temple area. Therefore taking a good anti-inflammatory medicine will not only make you feel better physically but it will help you look as normal as possible in regards to your facial appearance.
Lastly, I will recommend you asking your doctor to prescribe you a good antibiotic which will prevent any infections. Remember an open cut, although it has been stitched up professionally will always be prone to external bacteria. To combat this and antibiotic like Keflex will help the body fight any bacteria that may enter your system.
So the moral of this story is: if you do happen to have some form of sports injury that results in a major laceration which requires a few stitches, always remember that keeping it clean and taking the correct medication is the best course of action to fast healing. I hope this information will help some of you in the future, but the best advice I can give you is if you are going to play a contact sport like roller hockey please use the proper gear as to prevent this kind of stuff from happening to you in the first place.