Glass foreign body

Case contributed by Bálint Botz
Diagnosis certain


Injured by broken glass a month ago, palpable painful area in the palmar aspect of the proximal fourth finger of the left hand.

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Female

Plain radiographs show a small about 5 mm radioopaque structure at the palmar aspect of the fourth proximal phalanx, but it is hard to appreciate due to superposition.


A thin, linear, about 6 mm long echogenic, foreign body is visible subcutaneously at the level of the proximal phalanx, surrounded by a characteristic hypoechogenic rim. Findings are in line with a retained glass shard. 

Case Discussion

Most glass foreign bodies are readily visible on plain radiographs, though their density is depending on their composition. Ultrasound is a readily available problem solving tool and is better at depicting relation to surrounding tissues. 

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.