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Glass in my foot - advice please

Camino(s) past & future
CP (2018)
#1
Planning to walk my first Camino in less than 10 days, and a couple of days ago managed to step on a microscopic splinter of glasss, now lodged in the sole of my foot. Tried to squeeze it out, which has simply made the foot sore, also soaked it in white vinegar; tonight I have applied a paste of bicarbonate of soda in the hope of drawing it out. An A&E nurse friend says to leave it to work its own way out, but my gut instinct is to get it out ASAP. Either way, my foot hurts and I am really afraid for my Camino. Any advice.
 

tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
del Norte Sept 2018
#5
I'm also confused why you wouldn't go to someone and get it taken out.

But if there's some reason, or there is residual discomfort, get some of those little sticky corn pads and create a donut around it to minimize direct pressure??
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#7
Planning to walk my first Camino in less than 10 days, and a couple of days ago managed to step on a microscopic splinter of glasss, now lodged in the sole of my foot. Tried to squeeze it out, which has simply made the foot sore, also soaked it in white vinegar; tonight I have applied a paste of bicarbonate of soda in the hope of drawing it out. An A&E nurse friend says to leave it to work its own way out, but my gut instinct is to get it out ASAP. Either way, my foot hurts and I am really afraid for my Camino. Any advice.
Until this is resolved, you can use a 'doughnut' made of molefoam, or even a bunion pad, to surround the affected area. This will help to keep the sensitive part of the foot elevated above the ground, or insole, as you walk. It may help help make things bearable for you.

When adhering the pad, be sure to clean the area with alcohol (hand sanitizer works) to remove dirt and sweat and oils which will interfere with the adhesive. Also, you can apply a thin smear of Tincture of Benzoin to the skin where the adhesive will be applied, then let it dry. This will multiply the holding power of the adhesive. You can also cover the donut with omnifix tape or leukotape P.

I do hope you are able to get that glass splinter out soon.
 

onwayhome

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Ponferrada-Santiago,(c1986)
Frances SJPP-Santiago (2011)
Portuguese Porto- Finisterre (2016)
St Michaels Way (2016)
#8
I've had good results with Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate), made into a thick paste with a little water. Hold in place with a loosely applied plaster. It draws out thorns and wood splinters that are too deep or too small to reach with tweezers. I'd imagine this would work with a speck of glass as well.
It's easier to make up the paste with a finely ground medical grade, though if you can only get hold of the chunkier bath salts they will do ok.
Hope you manage to remove it soon.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2016 Camino Frances to Leon
Fall 2017 Camino Frances to Finisterre
#9
Planning to walk my first Camino in less than 10 days, and a couple of days ago managed to step on a microscopic splinter of glasss, now lodged in the sole of my foot. Tried to squeeze it out, which has simply made the foot sore, also soaked it in white vinegar; tonight I have applied a paste of bicarbonate of soda in the hope of drawing it out. An A&E nurse friend says to leave it to work its own way out, but my gut instinct is to get it out ASAP. Either way, my foot hurts and I am really afraid for my Camino. Any advice.
Good Morning! The good news is that you obviously don't have neuropathy! I have pulled twigs, stones, small bits of metal, rocks, rubber, small toy chips, pins and glass out of the soles of feet. Unfortunately, the "owners" of these items had no idea due to his or her neuropathy. Your goals are to reduce the risk of infection and protect this area. An x-ray won't help because it won't pick up the glass, but are you sure that it is a glass splinter? There will also be a hesitancy of the doctor to start probing and cutting because that can make a wound bigger, and maybe the splinter is already out?? Could the pain that you have be the result of inflammation and trauma?

Use what Davebugg suggested for a protective dressing.

To reduce your risk of infection, apply an antimicrobial dressing. I don't know where you are, but the easiest thing would probably be an antibiotic cream for a couple of weeks, (for this acute wound). If your wound ends up as chronic (which I'm sure it won't), switch to iodine or PM me and I can give you other choices and suggestions. Once your wound is closed and you are walking, continue to protect this area with a simple bandage because your wound will still be healing. A lot of remodelling goes on in each skin layer and under the skin and walking is friction and shear on your feet, so trauma can still occur. Oh, and if you're still having some problems with your foot before you leave, you might want to get a prescription for antibiotics filled before your walk "just in case". Insurance may not cover a pre-existing condition. On that cheerful note Buen Camino! It will all be well!
 

Daxzentzu

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
FRANCES (2018) in planning
#10
Planning to walk my first Camino in less than 10 days, and a couple of days ago managed to step on a microscopic splinter of glasss, now lodged in the sole of my foot. Tried to squeeze it out, which has simply made the foot sore, also soaked it in white vinegar; tonight I have applied a paste of bicarbonate of soda in the hope of drawing it out. An A&E nurse friend says to leave it to work its own way out, but my gut instinct is to get it out ASAP. Either way, my foot hurts and I am really afraid for my Camino. Any advice.
here's a suggestion - it really works!!!

it uses an oral syringe for dispensing children's medicine

https://www.manchestereveningnews.c...s/mums-trick-remove-splinters-calpol-13788100
 

anthonymhughes

Irish lad heading back for more Camino!
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances & Camino Portuguese (Aug-? 2018)
#12
If pulling it out was unsuccessful, then seriously, let it be. The skin will reject it. 10 days is plenty of time, don't worry and don't aggravate the wound. If the wound is now open, steralise it. Keep your weight off it. It means you won't be able to train in the meantime but you'll be fighting fit to start your camino in 10 days
 
Camino(s) past & future
CP (2018)
#13
Actually it’s not a simple case of ‘get someone to take it out’ due to size/transparency and the fact that skin grows over a tiny wound. ‘See your doctor’ makes all kinds of assumptions, with no knowledge of an individual’s circumstances (geographic location, healthcare system, logistics, finance and medical history). For the record, I did finally manage to see my GP, who advises Epsom salt bathing and a magnesium sulphate dressing overnight, with review tomorrow.
To those who did take time to make helpful and kind responses to my very first post on this forum, my thanks.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#14
This EXACT thing happened to me about 10 days before I walked the Camino. Doctor numbed my foot and dug around, but couldn't find it. Glass is hard to see. I finally grit my teeth and cut it out myself, following the sharp pain to find it. Probably best to use the moleskin doughnut and leave it alone, though. All best!!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#15
If your GP can not resolve the problem maybe a surgeon who can use ultrasound to pinpoint location of the glass splinter can remove it. I hope you get it resolved soon!
 
Last edited:

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
#16
My wife had a small glass splinter in the foot... long story - short.... we could not remove it ( and you could not just go for the pain because -as we later saw - the splinter was curved and ached at a different point as where the wound with the top end of the splinter was). After several days the little wound got pus-filled. Now one could see the pus. And after weakening the skin with a needle the glass splinter and the pus came out.
So maybe - if the doctor does not find it now - just wait and use the donut and the other while-waiting tips ( but of course waiting is not easy 10 days before a camino).
 
Camino(s) past & future
CP (2018)
#17
Update: As I was getting nowhere with the GP’s surgery, I eventually paid a podiatrist to remove it, as I was lucky enough to get a cancellation slot. Feel a lot better for it, and am hoping it is all out now. Her own mother has just completed a Camino at the age of 74, so I was in good hands. Training has gone to pot, but at least I am mobile again. Thanks for the help and support on here. Bom Caminho, everyone!
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte end of March 2019
#18
Good Morning! The good news is that you obviously don't have neuropathy! I have pulled twigs, stones, small bits of metal, rocks, rubber, small toy chips, pins and glass out of the soles of feet. Unfortunately, the "owners" of these items had no idea due to his or her neuropathy. Your goals are to reduce the risk of infection and protect this area. An x-ray won't help because it won't pick up the glass, but are you sure that it is a glass splinter? There will also be a hesitancy of the doctor to start probing and cutting because that can make a wound bigger, and maybe the splinter is already out?? Could the pain that you have be the result of inflammation and trauma?

Use what Davebugg suggested for a protective dressing.

To reduce your risk of infection, apply an antimicrobial dressing. I don't know where you are, but the easiest thing would probably be an antibiotic cream for a couple of weeks, (for this acute wound). If your wound ends up as chronic (which I'm sure it won't), switch to iodine or PM me and I can give you other choices and suggestions. Once your wound is closed and you are walking, continue to protect this area with a simple bandage because your wound will still be healing. A lot of remodelling goes on in each skin layer and under the skin and walking is friction and shear on your feet, so trauma can still occur. Oh, and if you're still having some problems with your foot before you leave, you might want to get a prescription for antibiotics filled before your walk "just in case". Insurance may not cover a pre-existing condition. On that cheerful note Buen Camino! It will all be well!
Awesome advice, very thorough explanation. I was thinking the same thing regarding the pain being from the inflamation and trauma of trying to remove it. Curious if you recommend hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound and help ward off infection? In regards to the insurance. Some will cover pre existing illness if you pay for the insurance within the required time frame after booking your airline tickets ...usually within 10 -14 days . I always as a rule read the exclusions first before reading the policy inclusions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2016 Camino Frances to Leon
Fall 2017 Camino Frances to Finisterre
#19
Awesome advice, very thorough explanation. I was thinking the same thing regarding the pain being from the inflamation and trauma of trying to remove it. Curious if you recommend hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound and help ward off infection? In regards to the insurance. Some will cover pre existing illness if you pay for the insurance within the required time frame after booking your airline tickets ...usually within 10 -14 days . I always as a rule read the exclusions first before reading the policy inclusions.
Hello Iriebabel, Thank you and you have an excellent question about the hydrogen peroxide. This product works well for a dirty wound that you are trying to clean. The short version is that in wounds, the foaming action of hydrogen peroxide is caused by a chemical reaction to enzymes (protein molecules, of which our cells are made of and/or the "heme" in the hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. This bubbling action will help to clean out a wound, but you definitely want to rinse out that hydrogen peroxide because it is toxic to healthy cells. I would suggest only using hydrogen peroxide as an initial cleaner and then rinse or wash that wound well to remove the product and the debris. To ward off infection can get complicated, but if I was on a Camino, I would wash that wound with potable water and use an antimicrobial, like iodine or an antibiotic cream. Both are easy to purchase. I hope that this helps!
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte end of March 2019
#20
Hello Iriebabel, Thank you and you have an excellent question about the hydrogen peroxide. This product works well for a dirty wound that you are trying to clean. The short version is that in wounds, the foaming action of hydrogen peroxide is caused by a chemical reaction to enzymes (protein molecules, of which our cells are made of and/or the "heme" in the hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. This bubbling action will help to clean out a wound, but you definitely want to rinse out that hydrogen peroxide because it is toxic to healthy cells. I would suggest only using hydrogen peroxide as an initial cleaner and then rinse or wash that wound well to remove the product and the debris. To ward off infection can get complicated, but if I was on a Camino, I would wash that wound with potable water and use an antimicrobial, like iodine or an antibiotic cream. Both are easy to purchase. I hope that this helps!
Thanks for the info, again nicly explained. My mom swears by this...i guess its old school. I agree with a water rinse. I carried an antibiotic cream on my last camino fortunately I didnt need to use it
 

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