to be worried about this needle left in my leg

(33 Posts)
creamhearts Wed 29-Apr-15 19:29:36

I cut my leg ankle last Tuesday and as the A&E dr was stitching me up the needle broke off (a small curved one) into the wound and he couldn't find it. An x-ray showed it was in there.

I had to go to the plastics trauma clinic the next day and they also could not find it so they stitched my ankle up with the needle in there.

The wound keeps leaking loads of clear fluid which is irritating. I am really worried that leaving the needle in will cause me future problems. DH thinks I should complain.

FYI I am currently an inpatient at a mental hospital and the drs and nurses there have checked it but are also a bit hmm that they left the needle in and are not really sure what to do with the wound.

CupidStuntSurvivor Wed 29-Apr-15 19:34:35

They've closed it up knowing there's a foreign body in there and now the wound is seeping? Complain and get the thing taken out. The doctor needs a good bollocking.

creamhearts Wed 29-Apr-15 19:38:34

Basically yes.

The thing is two plastics registrars and a plastics consultant said it was fine...so I am confused about it all.

inlectorecumbit Wed 29-Apr-15 19:39:38

the needle is a foreign body and the wound probably wont close over until it is removed or makes its way to the surface of the skin. Either way it needs checked out.

msgrinch Wed 29-Apr-15 19:40:37

It doesn't sound right to me but I'm not a medical professional. Could you get another opinion at all? Sorry to hear you're having a rough time. I hope you get better soon.thanks

BehindEveryCloud Wed 29-Apr-15 19:40:57

Did plastics also confirm that they could see it on X-ray? Did they comment on how superficial it is?

creamhearts Wed 29-Apr-15 19:43:03

They confirmed they could see it on an x-ray.

No idea how superficial it was, the cut was into muscle though so it could be quite deep inside there.

The wound is closed, it has just not scabbed over or dried up and I feel like if the stitches were taken out it would just re-open.

DoItTooJulia Wed 29-Apr-15 19:44:53

Absolutely not right. Kick up a fuss.
Hope you're ok flowers

Rozbos Wed 29-Apr-15 19:45:53

I think you needed to question the drs who were looking at your leg about this at the time. Why did they say it would be ok? You were in clinic and had the opportunity to ask. If two registrars and a consultant said it would be ok then I would be quite happy with that but would have personally wanted an explanation from them about why and what to expect.

creamhearts Wed 29-Apr-15 19:48:47

TBH at the time I was stitched up I was exhausted having had no sleep from being in A&E the night before and I just wanted it sorting. It is just now, a week later that I am wondering if I should have protested more and asked them to look more for it. It is also hard because I am in patient and am deeply depressed and it is hard to advocate for myself.

BehindEveryCloud Wed 29-Apr-15 19:49:35

Sorry for the list of questions: how big is the wound?

It is strange to leave a metal foreign body in a wound without a contingency plan to have you brought back in for removal. If unable to find it there and then when wound was open, removal in theatre under x-ray guidance could be an option.

I am not a Plastics or trauma specialist though - if 3 seniors in that specialty have said it's fine, it could be a case of miscommunication? Is it possible for you to request to speak to them or have your ward Dr call the team for clarification?

BehindEveryCloud Wed 29-Apr-15 19:51:41

By "miscommunication" I mean the Plastics team just not explaining themselves or their reasoning clearly

Rozbos Wed 29-Apr-15 19:53:30

Why not ask the staff looking after you to try to contact the hospital and speak to the consultants secretary and ask for clarification? It's a fairly unusual situation so they would probably remember you! smile

creamhearts Wed 29-Apr-15 19:54:30

It is not a terribly big wound, maybe 8cm across?

The plastics consultant said that as it was a sterile needle it would not be a problem.

I have had stitches many many times and never had such issues with it leaking which is why I am not concerned. I am at home on leave at the moment but will speak to the nurse at the unit when I get back later tonight.

It is hard because usually I would go to my GP but of course at the moment that is not an option...

creamhearts Wed 29-Apr-15 19:55:11

Sorry typo, why I am concerned!!

letscookbreakfast Wed 29-Apr-15 19:59:16

I would definitely kick up a fuss, it could cause an infection.

WiIdfire Wed 29-Apr-15 20:00:41

Im a doctor and have come across this situation before. My patient had an insulin needle snap off in her thigh. It could be seen on xray, but we couldn't find it to remove it.

Thing is, the needle was quite small and the leg relatively large (in comparison). So the options were 1) dig around with a knife until it is found. 2) leave it alone.

Problem with option 1) is you would then end up with potentially a huge wound on the leg and no guarentee that you could find the needle. Unless you were lucky enough to cut directly onto it and see it, you can hardly feel around for it with your fingers can you?
With option 2) the possible outcomes would be either that it works its way out eventually (as the body expelled it) or that it would stay there and do nothing. It would be really unlikely to migrate elsewhere and cause problems. (Possible, but rare).

I know it sounds counter-intuitive to leave it alone, but think carefully about exactly what else the doctors can do to get it out!

I agree they could have explained it better though.

WiIdfire Wed 29-Apr-15 20:03:44

Of course if the wound doesn't start to heal, then you should get it looked at again.

creamhearts Wed 29-Apr-15 20:49:19

Thank you for your perspective wildfire I will discuss with the nurse on the unit tonight as the wound has changed today.

londonrach Wed 29-Apr-15 20:52:55

Foreign body still in there. Get back to a&e and get it removed. Its not going to heal until that item is removed!!!!!

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Wed 29-Apr-15 20:59:17

Could you cover it with magnesium sulphate paste twice daily to draw it out?

Mrsmorton Wed 29-Apr-15 21:33:40

WiIdfire speaks absolute sense. Remember an x ray is only a flat image so it can be very difficult to precisely position something based on that alone. If it works its way out then great, if not then almost certainly no problem. Or they could dig about for it for a while and you will be in a worse position than you are now.

gets OP a big magnet

londonrach Wed 29-Apr-15 21:53:17

Being silly here but mrs morton idea re the magnet. Just made me laugh at loud! grin

AngelWings74 Wed 29-Apr-15 21:55:44

So frustrating! I once got a small piece of glass in finger! It caused pain so I went to hospital. They tried to fish it out with needle but couldn't get it. They did operation under local anesthetic but couldn't find it even though x Ray had highlighted it was there! They did wash out and said it must have come out in washout. However, it's still there! It only hurts occasionally when I hold something but it's so annoying!

kelda Wed 29-Apr-15 21:57:26

I would imagine it will make it's way out. I have seen this happen with someone after an operation. It's very rare but it came out no problem.

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