Surgical pins

by David A. Chappell

Today I got to see some x-rays of the area where I recently had surgery to reattach my torn pectoral muscle. I took a picture of it with my camera phone -


This is cool. There are 4 pins that are inserted into my left arm. The pins have a small eye loop in each one, which the suture attaches to. The pins themselves are much like anchor screws that you use in a sheetrock wall. The surgeon drills a hole in the bone. He inserts the pin into the hole. The bone is hollow, and the pins have these littel spring-tensioned wings on them that pop out once they reach through to the inside of the wall of the bone. You can see the little wings in the pins in the photo.

For now, this is all that is holding the muscle in place. Over a period of about 4 weeks the tendon will reattach itself to the bone and heal naturally.