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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Piercing Diagnosis – Occult Foreign Body as the Cause of Acute Inguinal Pain

  • Author(s): Bays-Muchmore, Coral;
  • Sims, Deion T.;
  • Gross, Joel A.;
  • Ilgen, Jonathan S.
  • et al.

Case Presentation: A 35-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with severe right inguinal pain. Her medical history was non-contributory and there was no known trauma or injury to the region. Amid concern for an incarcerated inguinal hernia, a computed tomography was obtained revealing a linear foreign body (FB) lateral to the femoral vessels. The FB was removed without complication at bedside and found to be a beading needle likely occultly lodged three days prior.

Discussion: Occult inguinal FBs are rare but can lead to deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism if in or near vessels. By nature of being occult, an absence of ingestion, insertion, or penetrative history should not preclude consideration of a FB etiology. Computed tomography imaging is crucial in determining the urgency of, and approach to, inguinal foreign body removal.

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