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Pat Fish's inadvertant piercing

Seems like the stories behind medical events are never quite as dramatic as we might wish. There I was, up on an antique stepstool I inherited from my Grandmother, putting lettuce in a fishtank in my tattoo studio. Next thing I knew, a misstep had propelled me to the cement floor and I was an industrial statistic with a bone shattered into 20 pieces.

The two inches of radius next to the wrist bones were visible in the x-rays as a mass of shards, and I was fortunate indeed to have access to the talent of Dr.Z, a well-known local orthopedic surgeon.

These photos show the external fixator device that he bolted into my hand and radius to keep my bone in position for healing.

Two 2.5mm stainless steel metacarpal pins were pierced into the first two bones in the right hand. Two 3.0mm pins were threaded into the radius. They were inserted by means of a small incision, then their wickedly sharp point tips threaded down into the bones. Two 4.0mm black graphite rods spanned the fixation pins, keeping my forearm in a hello kitty position.

To care for them over the three months they were in I had to push the "pin sites" down and clean away any deposits of material collecting on the pin shafts.

While we waited for calcium regrowth in the "cornflaked" section of radius, the apparatus also enabled the doctor to lengthen the arm to straighten the break back into a line.

While I've worked for over a decade in the Bod Mod Biz this was my first extreme piercing. I¹m happy to say I survived the months of painkillers and now am back at work, fully recovered with no residual damage. But I offer this documentation for the BME and plan to stick to tattoos from now on.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Jan. 1997
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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