Article Text

Small bowel perforation by toothpick


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

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.