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A Surgical Screw Popped Out Of This Guy's Foot And It's Terrifying

Warning: Graphic photos of a screw literally emerging from a foot.

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A 26-year-old man from Portland, Oregon, recently had a surgical screw poke out through a callus on the top of his foot, and the horrifying picture is going viral on Reddit.

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The screw was from a surgery he had nine months ago, but he didn't actually expect to see it again like this.

The screws were holding his bones in place after surgery for a Lisfranc (midfoot) injury last October.

"I broke my foot at Burning Man," the man (who asked to remain anonymous) told BuzzFeed Life. "I was spinning my friend around and tripped, pinning my right foot down with my left so my body spun around but my foot didn't and I broke two metatarsals."

Doctors used 10 screws and three plates to help heal his bones.

The swelling was just beginning to go down when he noticed a bump on the top of his foot.

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"It started to bulge out more so I could tell it was the head of the screw and it hurt, especially rubbing against the top of my shoes and socks," he said.

The man dealt with it and wore wider shoes for four months, until it became a callus. That is, until last Friday.

"I woke up and the callus skin had rubbed off and you could just see the screw coming out of my foot," he said. "The weirdest thing was that it didn't hurt anymore."

He went back to his orthopedic surgeon, who successfully removed the 1½-inch-long screw from his foot.

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The GIANT screw, pictured here, left a pretty deep hole in his foot, but he said it's healing quite well. As for the rest of the screws, he plans to get surgery in a month to remove all the hardware now that his bones have properly healed.

"My doctor said this was rare, because most people get the screws out before this happens," he told BuzzFeed Life. "But you can also keep them in your foot forever if they don't bother you, so I had no way of knowing this would happen."

So...how the hell did this happen?

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"We use plates and screws to keep fractured bones in position to heal correctly," Dr. Christopher Hubbard, chief foot and ankle surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told BuzzFeed Life. "If there's some motion in the foot during recovery, the screw might not get well seeded or come loose."

And since there's less fatty tissue on the top of the foot, especially after swelling goes down, there's not really any cushion between the hardware, the skin, and your shoe.

"This is why patients can feel the hardware under their skin as an uncomfortable bump," Hubbard said. "If it gets painful, they'll come in to address it and we'll decide to surgically remove the hardware if the bones have healed properly."

But don't freak out! Screws popping out of your skin is something that VERY rarely happens.

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"Out of the hundreds of patients who have hardware, it's rare that anything gets loose and the patient doesn't come in to address it until it's coming out of the skin, because it's already very uncomfortable at that point," Hubbard added. "It's also dangerous, because the screw is exposed to the outside environment and it can cause a bone infection."

But, in most cases, surgical screws can just stay in if they're not causing any problems or discomfort.

"Many people have no problems and just keep the hardware in forever," Hubbard explained. "But if you feel it pushing against your skin in an uncomfortable way, you need to see your doctor to assess the problem."

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