Provider Prepared’s Weekly Pearl of Wound Wisdom #28 Tongue Lashing
A 3 year old male is brought to the emergency department for repair of a tongue laceration. As he was playing with older siblings, he fell forward striking his chin on the floor causing him to bite his tongue. He suffered a laceration across the full width of his anterior tongue, that is gaping with on going active bleeding.
Repair of tongue lacerations should be considered when the laceration is greater than one centimeter, extends into muscular layers or that are full thickness. Additionally repair should be considered when the lateral border of the tongue is involved, if large gaping of the wound is present, or flaps are created by the wound.
Tongue wounds that are less than one centimeter and non-gaping, without previously mentioned anatomical involvement, typically do not need repair.
When repair is indicated, absorbable suture material that is 3-0 or 4-0 should be used.
Jasper, JI et al. Evaluation and repair of tongue lacerations. UpToDate June 2017.
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Nathan Whittaker, MD
- Brandon Durfee