Lacerations are cuts, but when cuts are deep and jagged, they can't be healed with ointment and bandages. Lacerations can damage more than just the skin. Mild or moderate lacerations may be treated with sutures, but if the wound is severe, reconstructive surgery may be needed to repair deep tissue injuries. These range from severed tendons and nerves to damaged muscle and bone.
Most commonly, severe lacerations happen on the face, scalp and hands, and if you're young and male, you have an increased risk for this type of wound. There were more than 100,000 laceration repair surgeries performed in the U.S. in 2009. It's estimated that more than 50 percent of laceration injuries are caused by blunt trauma, with the remaining 50 percent caused by sharp objects (including metal and glass) [source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons; Singer].