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Administrator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
has anyone else had a spine from a cactus (specifically the prickly pear) pierce and break off under the skin? I have done this and yesterday my wife got a double incident. The question is what did you do? I went to the hospital to have it removed, it was real deep and in the shin muscle. It cost many $$$ and they never got it out. A friend of mine went to the hospital and they took it right out. My wife is just sucking it up on the assumption that the body metabolism will break it down as a foreign body anyway.

experiences? similar or different.
Side effects? infections, etc.

thanks, just wondering.
 

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Occidental Tourist
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I've got quite a few spines in my legs - a la chicken pox in one knee. They seem to eventually be broken down or come out at a later date. I've got some bumps from a year or more ago - just scar tissue now I think. Just keep an eye on it and if it continues to hurt or change colors and spread get it taken care of.
 

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recovering roadie
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I once ate it into a pile of dead cholla. You know, the black ones. They're brittle and dozens broke off under my skin.

About two to three weeks later, I squeezed them all out - why later? They didn't move until they had pussed up nicely. It was actually a lot of fun....
 

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mad aussie
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You are OK as long as they dont get infected, I had one that did, my leg swelled up to twice its normal size and I had to go on IV antibiotics and on some other strong ones for a while. Eventually they fished a 1" spine out of the muscle. I have also got some that I never pulled out and I guess they eventually broke down.
Just watch out for any redness and swelling extending out from the injury site.
 

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Surgery works, but x-rays won't show the spine

Following a great endo I not only had prickly pear spines from my neck to my knees, I had also lodged one under the back of my knee. I went to the doc because I could feel it rubbing bone and it HURT. He got me into surgery and had to dig around for 30 minutes or so before finding the thing.

Other spines worked their way out over time, but this one was and inch and a half long and about the thinkness of a pencil lead - I wanted it out and was willing to have the doctor search until he could find it. The sores from the cactus weren't pretty, but they all healed eventually -- better than the scar from the surgery. I still have that.

I'd say let comfort decide what to do. If she can feel it under the skin or it really causes pain that doesn't seem to go away, I'd suggest getting it cut out. My opinion.
 

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I ran into a bunch of cactus at the 24 Hour in the Old Pueblo back in feb on a practice run. A couple of days later I could see that a couple of needles broke off under the skin. They remained their like bug bites for a long time. I just checked and can see that they are finally disappearing, although I can still see the spots. I think your wife is right that they will dispappear.
 

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I have had cholla needles come out up to a year after the incident. I had what looked like a pimple, I squeezed it and out came a half inch needle. No worries.
 
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