The Time I Had Pins in my Feet
So when I feel the tops of my feet, I have…well…horns, essentially.
These are the pins sticking out of my healing bones. After my bones were broken during bunion surgery, they were realigned and stabilized with scary-looking metal hooks. And so they’ve stayed since June, just waiting to poke up their sharp little curvy heads.
As the swelling in my feet go down, the pins are becoming more and more prominent, and are now sticking up and bruising my skin. My scar can’t fully heal while the pins are pushing on it from the inside, so they’ve got to go. I had an appointment with my surgeon yesterday to discuss the procedure, which turns out to be a bit more involved than I had anticipated.
Basically, the doctor will make a small incision over the pin, perhaps a centimeter wide, then yank on the exposed metal with pliers for all he’s worth. If he’s lucky, the pin will come out smoothly and relatively painlessly. If he’s not so lucky, the bone will have grown up over the head of the pin, and he’ll have to chip away at it until he can pull the pin free. If he’s really unlucky, the pin will have bent at some point while it was embedded in my bone, and it will be nearly impossible to remove without doing some painful damage. Then the incision will be stitched up, and I’ll have to keep my foot dry (AGAIN) for another ten days. Torture.
The doctor said this could (hopefully) all be performed under local anesthesia, though my mom, who has had pins removed from bones before, warned that it would still be plenty painful. Though injected anesthetic can numb skin and muscle, it apparently has no effect on bone, which is just bristling with nerve endings. When my mom had pins pulled from a broken finger, she said the pain was some of the worst she had ever experienced, and this is a woman who has had natural childbirth at home more than once. So…that’s daunting.
And so the nurses told me to be prepared to be put under IV sedation. Though the pin removal will be first attempted under local anesthetic, if I start freaking out, I’ll apparently be put down like an unruly circus animal. I’m really, really trying to avoid that outcome since it involves being escorted home on a Friday morning, which is a tough sell since all my friends/family work for a living.
So here’s hoping I won’t pussy out, and the whole thing will take five minutes TOPS. Or else I’ll scream and be injected with powerful drugs. Oh yeah, no pressure at all.
- Surgery 1
- Post-surgery 1
- Surgery 2
- Post-surgery 2
- More Post-surgery
- Foot Pins 1
- Foot Pins 2
- 10 Months Later