Not what you're looking for? CLICK HERE INSTEAD
The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM
I have a broken sewing needle in my foot for two weeks,still experiencing a throbbing pain
I had a X-ray done to confirm that there is a broken sewing needle in my foot. There was, between the toes, slanting downwards. An antibiotic was prescribed-Keflex and recommendations of soaking the foot in warm water and was informed that it might come out on its own. Im finished with the antibiotics, there is less puffiness of the toes , soak my foot in warm water with epsom salts. Im still experiencing some throbbing but not constant, (Im on my feet for 8-12 hrs I work in an emergency room) and there is a black-bluish lump now. Should I be worried. The staff physicians suggest to really think it over in having it dug out and I should try to live with it.
Up to this point you have not really gotten very good advice. If the sewing needle is lodged in the foot there is almost no way it is coming out on its own.
You can soak your foot for a year and the only way the needle will come out by soaking is if it is partially exposed. If it is partially exposed, it can be removed manually.
So what are your options?
Depending on how big the embedded piece of needle happens to be, they have been known to burrow backwards and deeper into the tissue (more so than coming out) and in many cases if they burrow deep enough and are not hitting any structures like a tendon or nerve, there is a good chance they could stop hurting.
The other option of course is to have it removed. Depending on the experience of the doctor dealing with the problem, sometimes they can be removed in a setting like an Emergency Room , but more than likely will have to be removed in the operating room.
You know the old saying "its like looking for a needle in a haystack".... well sometimes removing a needle can be almost as difficult.
Many times just opening up the original entry site where the needle initially penetrated and then lightly probing the area, the needle can be "felt" and removed.
However, if that does not end up being the case with you, the needle can be identified under ultrasound and then usually removed.
Of course, I have not seen your x-ray, nor do I know how long the needle is, but if the needle is angled, more than likely if it were to get pushed back, it would probably hit one of the toe bones or perhaps the head of the metatarsal and this would prevent it from being pushed even further back.
The fact of the matter is if the needle hurts then it has to be removed; it is just that simple.
One caveat. You mention the area has a black and blue lump. If that lump is in the spot where the needle entered the foot, then you might be developing a sterile abscess which is the bodies way of walling off the needle (foreign body). The good news here is that if indeed you have developed an abscess, have a doctor carefully open it up, because in many instances the head of the needle will be sitting there and can be easily removed.
Marc Mitnick DPM
Johns Hopkins Medicine
University of Rochester Medical Center
American Academy of Pediatrics
Penn State Medical Center
National Institutes of Health
Columbia University Department of Rehabilitation
Stanford Health Care
Illinois Bone and Joint Institute
Mount Sinai Hospital
Institute for Chronic Pain
University of Florida Health
American Family Physician
University of Maryland Medical Center