During tendon reattachment surgery last month my doctor installed what she called a "K-wire". An Australian vendor of rural fencing products [1] describes its K-wires as:

Diamond mesh construction, high tensile line wires, no sharp projections. K-Wire minimises the chances of stock scratching or tearing valuable hides. It is a low profile pattern which provides a pleasant appearance and is therefore ideal for around the home. A close mesh pattern means that it is appropriate for protecting valuable stock and pastures from a range of unwanted [predators.]

Well, I appreciate a pleasant appearance, and I certainly don't want my valuable hide to be torn! But in the medical context, a K-wire is what's also known as a Kirschner wire. It's an internal splint designed to immobilize bone fragments. The one that until last Wednesday was embedded in my left big toe is about 6 cm long. Before the new physician pulled it out he reassured me that the process won't hurt. "Won't hurt the wire?" I wondered to myself. "Or won't hurt you, Doc?"

OK, I must admit: the removal actually wasn't too painful. I kept the K-wire as a souvenir. It looks like a big paper-clip that was mostly straightened except for a little corner at one end, where it protruded from my toe.

Now, although my family has kindly been waiting on me hand and foot (!) for many weeks, it's almost time for me to start going back to work. For the record, below please find a few new digital (!) photos taken three days after the wire was yanked. Click on the thumbnails — or, may I say, toenails (!) — for larger images.

Two Franken-feet - click for larger image... two Franken-Feet—or rather, a Franken-Foot to compare with an undamaged version ...Franken-toe with kwire - click for larger image... a close-up of the Franken-Toe, with K-wire on top indicating where it was previously embedded ...
... the foot plus shiny K-wire ...k-wire and Franken-toe - click for larger image... a super-sized high-resolution (1524x2032 pixel) image of The Toe itself, suitable for desktop uglification ...super-sized Franken-toe - click for larger image

(see also BumpInTheNight (31 Mar 2005), ToeTransplantProjectZeta (1 Apr 2005), DownWithTheBad (18 Apr 2005), TornToeTendonRepair (5 May 2005), ...)

TopicHumor - TopicRunning - TopicPersonalHistory - 2005-05-15

(correlates: ToeTheLine, ToeTransplantProjectZeta, MirrorImage, ...)