Foreign body (nail in elbow)

Case contributed by Maulik S Patel
Diagnosis certain


Self-inflicted injury to the anterior aspect of the left elbow by a nail a few hours back.

Patient Data

Age: 20 years
Gender: Male

There is a linear structure in the subcutaneous plane of anterior elbow region. It is directed distally from skin breach. It shows reverberation artifact. It is a foreign body.Its length is about 20 mm. Its proximal end is at skin breach level. Its distal end is towards the ulnar side. There is no surrounding collection/granuloma. Adjacent subcutaneous veins are patent.


Photo of the nail which was removed by surgery. 

Foreign body (nail) photo courtesy: operating surgeon Dr Niraj I. Patel.

Case Discussion

A young male presented with a self-inflicted injury. He inserted a thin caliber nail to the anterior aspect of left elbow a few hours back. Ultrasound revealed a nail in the subcutaneous plane in the anterior aspect of the left elbow. It was removed by surgery.

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