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CASE REPORT
Small bowel perforation by toothpick

Summary

Toothpick ingestion is a rare but potentially fatal condition which may cause bowel perforation and rare complications if it migrates out of the gastrointestinal tract. This case report describes a delayed presentation of toothpick-induced small bowel injury leading to abdominal wall abscess and spondylodiscitis. A 51-year-old man was admitted twice with fever and loin pain, but repeated non-contrast CT was reported to be unremarkable. However, 5 months later, he presented with a left lower quadrant abdominal wall abscess and back pain. An updated CT showed a linear hyperdensity which was already present in previous scans, causing small bowel perforation, abdominal wall abscess and spondylodiscitis. Emergency laparotomy identified a toothpick causing small bowel perforation. The abdominal wall abscess was incised and drained, and small bowel was repaired.

  • radiology
  • gastrointestinal surgery
  • foreign bodies
  • intestinal perforation

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