Cubital fossa needles in an IVDU

Case contributed by Dr Bruno Di Muzio


IVDU with painful forearms.

Patient Data

Age: 30-year-old
Gender: Female

Left: Heterogenous bone trabeculation within the distal humerus associated with joint space narrowing and marginal osteophytes/remodeling. No evidence of fractures. Within the anterior cubital fossa soft tissues there are two linear radiopaque foreign bodies in keeping with the suspected needles.

Right: The distal humerus is expanded and shows diffuse heterogeneous trabeculae. Elbow joint space is preserved, but bone irregularities and marginal osteophytes are noted. Within the anterior cubital fossa soft tissued there is a linear radiopaque foreign body in keeping with a needle.

Case Discussion

A common presence in emergency departments everywhere, intravenous drug users (IVDU) frequently present with local or spread/embolic infections. This case illustrates broken needles within the soft tissue of both forearms. Bone remodelling and degenerative changes are probably related to previous infections/osteomyelitis. 

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Case information

rID: 44985
Case created: 11th May 2016
Last edited: 2nd Jul 2016
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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