Glass Foreign Body in the Spinal Canal of a Child: Case Report and Review of the Literature

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Retained foreign bodies pose a risk to the patient from the perspective of potential morbidity. We describe a previously healthy 8-year-old boy with head and back trauma from a glass picture frame that fell off the wall. He sustained a closed head injury and a back laceration several centimeters lateral to the spine. A persistent drainage from the back laceration contained glucose and protein levels consistent with cerebral spinal fluid. A foreign body was easily visible on subsequent plain radiograph. The glass foreign body was removed by neurosurgeons after computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging clarified the exact location of the glass fragment. Physicians should have a low threshold for obtaining plain radiographs in patients with glass foreign bodies and consider that projectiles may rest some distance from the laceration site.

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