Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Magic Needle

A 24 yo large Hispanic male arrived in the ED carrying plain film X Rays from an outside hospital. Since he only spoke Spanish, I went over and pointed at his films so I could at least see what was going on before the translator arrived. To my surprise, he had a sewing needle in his left thigh. I couldn't wait to hear how the needle implanted there.



When the translator arrived, I asked him "How did the needle get into your thigh?"

He said, " I'm not sure."

I then asked him, "Don't you remember that LARGE needle going into your leg. You had to feel it when it happened."

He said, "No, but about two weeks ago I started feeling a sharp prick every time I walk. Maybe the needle was in my pocket and it just went in. Or maybe I laid on it."

I was puzzled as to how a large sewing needle got stuck in his thigh. I examined his thigh and he didn't even have a mark on him. To this day, I am scratching my head. We gave him an appointment to see a surgeon to have it removed.

-Doc Sensitive

8 comments:

Ladyk73 said...

http://www.rsna.org/Media/rsna/RSNA08_newsrelease_target.cfm?id=393

Embedding is becoming a common self-harm technique. May want to do a quicky psych eval on the next one...

K said...

I've heard this before. One pediatrician was telling me about a kid that was complaining about pain between his fingers in the webbing area. He palpated and felt something hard and an x-ray showed a needle had gone all the way in and stayed in.

Funder said...

I'm going to guess his wife/mom left a needle stuck in the couch cushion, and he sat on it while drunk. I've never sat on them, but I have, uh, temporarily misplaced needles in the couch before. :o

HP said...

I consider myself a pretty normal 25 year old veterinary student... but a few years ago, I stepped on a sewing needle that went straight into my foot, between my two smallest toes. I felt that I had stepped on something, but the pain vanished immediately. A few days later, my foot swelled up and I went to critical care to get it looked at. Sure enough, an inch and a half long sewing needle had embedded itself in my foot. It was surgically removed a couple days later.

I would have been highly offended if my doctor had suggested a psych evaluation... things like this happen!

Anonymous said...

I saw a needle in the foot case early this year on a hispanic woman. Completely asymptomatic, she came in because she twisted her ankle after stepping on a hole in her yard. Xray revealed the needle. Like you Doc we were both scrathing our head because she does not recall any incident in the past that could have caused this.

magnesium said...

When I was a teenager I stepped on a sewing needle that was poking up in the carpet. I didn't know what it was at first, I just knew it hurt a lot and made a snapping noise, and when I looked at my toe there was only a tiny dot, but on the floor was half of a sewing needle. My parents took me to the clinic and the doctor had to do an X-Ray just to see if it was actually in there, and it was. There still wasn't a mark on my toe, but it did hurt, and it had swollen up a bit. I ended up needing surgery to remove it.

Anonymous said...

I stepped on a sewing needle and it broke off in my heel. I only realized what it was when i was feeling around on the carpet to see what i stepped on and found half of a needle. Luckily the doctor at the ER was able to pull it out without surgery.

Anonymous said...

I managed to get a sewing needle stuck in my thigh because it was trapped in the lining of a fabric bag I was carrying. My bag is always full of disorganised junk. The doctor and nurse assumed I had been self harming. I can see why they needed to ask, but it was quite embarrassing. I didn't feel a thing as the needle went in until I got off the bus and took a step forward and felt this tearing sensation. I called NHS direct who said they thought I may have been stung by an insect so I was shocked when I saw the needle on the x-ray.