Questions about healing after NFC implant

edited February 2016 in Procedures
Hey everybody,
So I had the xNTi implanted in my left hand about 7 days ago and it has been working well. However, I've had some concerns about the healing process and I was wondering if anyone could answer some questions I have or relate if they have had similar experiences. First off, I have a little medical knowledge, but I'm pretty anxious and just want to be sure everything is going alright. I've read the wiki and gone over the details of aftercare multiple times, but I still have some questions that were not addressed there.  I'm sorry if this gets kinda long or wordy.

So, for context, I had the implant placed by a local piercer after giving her time to review the implant procedure.  The procedure was not that painful, but she ended up needing to apply more pressure than either of us expected. Then, it seemed like she deposited the implant too late/while retracting the end of the needle near the skin, so she pushed the needle back in to push the implant farther back into place.  I applied ice and a bandage to the area immediately, and some minimal bleeding persisted intermittently throughout the evening. At some point in the evening, the implant ended up migrating about a cm away from the desired location (6-7 mm from the index metacarpal) toward my thumb.  I suspect that this may have been because of the needle being reinserted or the pressure I placed on the area after the implantation.  Then, I developed some pretty decent bruising in the knuckles/MCP joints of the thumb and index finger, which I thought was strange.  I also noticed a firm bump develop in the area where the needle entered, the path I think the implant took during migration, and over where I believe the implant is currently.  There was some bright red bruising at the edges of the bump initially, which became darker overnight, but the discoloration has essentially resolved.  I feel that this bump may be a hematoma, but I'm really unsure.  The bump is a little sore when touched or with certain movements of the thumb and it tends to change in size very slightly.  Okay, over the next day or so I developed really light bruising throughout the rest of the dorsal side of my left hand as well.  There have been no signs of infection and the site of the puncture is almost fully healed.  I've been checking my circulation pretty frequently and it seems fine, and besides a little tightness at times, sensation and motor function seem fully intact.  However, what concerns me is that every now and then I get a strange numbness or tingling to just the dorsal aspect of my distal thumb, just before the nail.  I do not know what brings it on and it usually resolves with a little time and sometimes heat.  Its hard to tell if it is actually numbness, but it definitely feels strange, almost like a cold pressure or tingling.

So with all of that said, here are my concerns.  I am worried that I may have hit a large vessel or muscle in the hand and I am wondering what the consequence of doing so could be.  Also, should I be concerned that the implant could be sitting near or within one of these structures?  Next, should I be concerned about the bump or these weird transient episodes of numbness?  But most of all I would like to know if anyone has had similar experiences or if this is pretty normal.  I don't want to ignore it for too long if something is up and I really don't want to have it removed, but any insight would be really appreciated.  Like I said, I might just be paranoid, but it is really hard to find good information on this stuff, especially since most information is only concerned with infection.

I attached a few pictures below.  They aren't fantastic and they don't show the full extent of the bruising (it fluctuates and I heated my hand just before the pics), but I can post more later if need be.  One of the pictures is of my hand after a day or two (you can see the puncture site is still healing) and the others are from today.  The bump can be seen just behind the webbing in between the thumb and index.  Thanks everyone, let me know what you think!



  • edited February 2016
    Wow way to long do you mind re posting the questions separate with a couple breaks my eyes can't read that much. I mean no offense.

    Also images aren't there.
  • So I read the last maybe two paragraphs.

    Do you have the ability to read it?

    Bruising is pretty normal mine was bruised for about a week.

    Mine was sore to the touch for maybe 2-3weeks or it was in my head.

    There's really not too much you could hit in that spot (if I'm understanding the location correctly).

    Numbness may be simply a time thing. I wouldn't be too worried if everything looks fine with no infection. Can you feel it if you probe around and get a good guess on the spot it's in?

    I wouldn't be afraid of causing it damage if that's what you are thinking I have mine in a spot that takes a beating from a hammer regularly.

    Sorry I didn't read it all.
  • Hey!  Thanks for the reply and sorry for the length/terrible formatting. I'll repost it with a bit of touching up and hopefully some real pics soon.
  • Looking back the post is pretty dang long, but I added some better showing and links for pics. Let me know if that works better. I am able to feel what I believe is the implant about 5 mm from the thumb mcp joint and it does read well when near the phones "sweet spot."
  • The bruising is a normal reaction to a piercing injury that breaks the subdermal, the blood moves fairly easily under the skin and migrates to low places where is clots and forms a visible bruise.
  • I would give it more time and see if it changes(numbness). You said it's been about a week I'd give is another and see how it is. Keep updates rolling in as you do it. Thanks for the change it made it a lot easier for me.
  • Also mine was slightly swollen too. Remember you did stick a needle in there so it is going to react.
  • The only thing that seems out of place is the (possible) migration.
  • oof, that does look like a pretty brutal implant site. Seems to be healing all right, though it does look like quite a lot of swelling. I normally wouldn't expect the bruising to travel that far either. Sounds like it ended up a bit deeper in your handmeat than these usually go. The numbness sounds like maybe it's rubbing against a nerve (hence why heat helps relax it)?  Lack of weird coloration is good at least. Another sign of infection is warmth, so just keep making sure it's not getting oddly cozy in that one spot.

    It sounds like you hand is healing, just with a few more added complications because of the depth. Honestly, I'm not sure what repercussions are from a deeper chip, but I'm reaching out on who to ping. Good news is, with no infection or ongoing trauma, you should be safe to let it keep healing. 
  • Hey. Yes, I've seen this before. It's basically the same as a blown iv.. you hit a vessel. It's not a big deal though. The best way to deal with this is to apply a lot of pressure immediately after it happens. You can literally push the blood out of the area back into vasculature. If you don't. ..

    Meh. Bruising. Discomfort. Even if you nick the digital artery it more than likely won't be a big deal. Apply cold and elevate. The sensations that occur during healing are weird. Nothing you've said concerns me except that the lump hasn't gone down. It could be a clot or it could simply be swelling. Let me know how it responds to elevation and cold packs.
  • Thank you so much for the replies everyone, I've been following the comments closely and appreciate the feedback.  Ik I can be wordy, but I figure it is best to be thorough with something like this.  As an update, the light bruising to the dorsum of my hand is improving steadily and, apart from occasional itching, soreness and discomfort seem to be improving as well.  The only things concerning me now are some bruising (looks much more like ecchymosis) along the dorsal side of my 1st/thumb metacarpal and the odd lump.  I still get the odd numbness sensation from time to time as well.  I'm really just kinda disappointed that all this happened after so much preparation and care.

    So I really don't believe there have been any signs of infection.  I have not noticed any warmth, redness, streaking, or drainage and the lump doesn't really seem consistent with a cyst or abscess.  The lump is mobile and firm and if it changes in size at all it is very subtle.  I think it might be a hematoma or seroma or something?

    @cassox, I figured I likely hit a larger vessel and I iced and elevated my hand for a few days after the procedure.  It helped a lot with pain and bruising, but the lump has pretty much stayed the same, though it changed from a red/bruisish discoloration to skin tone.  However, I did need to use my hand a bit during the healing process as well.  I'm thinking of just giving everything another week or 2 to heal, I just want to make sure I don't need to rush to a hand surgeon or something.  Also, should I be concerned over vessel erosion, tendon sheath injury, or joint capsule injury?  I don't really know what to look for with these.  I figure most of this stuff is common with something like a blown IV, but there isn't much info on similar stuff happening with a retained foreign body as well.

    @birdmachine Thank you for reaching out for more info!

    These photos aren't the best with this lighting, I'll try to get better ones.
    Pic of ecchymosis:

    Pic of lump:

  • Hey man, can you feel a pulse in the mass?
  • Ok, 7 days or more is a long time for it to still be so swollen. My concern is that you may have a psuedoaneurysm.
  • No, I don't feel a pulse in the lump. It's a little sore, but only with palpation, but I try not to agitate it too much. It's also somewhat irregular, like it's most firm over the are the needle went in and near where the implant ended up. (about 1 cm apart)
  • Hey everybody, just an update, everything seems to be healing well. All the bruising went away and now it's just that lump. I had a physician I work with in the ER take a look at it too and she says it looks like a hematoma and is nothing to worry about. Also, I haven't really had any more numbness. Thanks again for all the help and I'll post again if anything odd happens.
  • Glad to hear it. I'm sure you'll get better performance from it as the swelling goes down as well.
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