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Nonprojectile penetrating iron rod from the oral cavity to the posterior cranial fossa: a case report and review of literature

Authors Lan ZG, Richard SA, Li J, Yang C

Received 16 November 2017

Accepted for publication 17 January 2018

Published 9 March 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 41—45


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ronald Prineas

Zhi Gang Lan,1 Seidu A Richard,1–3 Jin Li,1 Chaohua Yang1

1Department of Neurosurgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Immunology, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Surgery, Volta Regional Hospital, Ho, Ghana, West Africa

Introduction: Nonprojectile penetrating skull base injuries as a result of falls have rarely been confronted in normal neurosurgery although a few nonmissile injuries have been reported. These kinds of injuries represent a life-threatening emergency.
Case presentation: We present an unusual case of a 25-year-old male construction worker who suffered an accidental penetrating skull base injury when he fell on a metal rod while he was walking on a 2-meter-high platform. He was clinically stable at presentation. Skull radiograph showed a solid metallic bar, 30 cm long, that penetrated through the right anguli oris eminence and was lodged low in the right occipital bone.
Conclusion: Penetrating injury to the head is considered a form of severe traumatic brain injury. Although case of penetrating head injuries as a result of fall from heights are very rare, we anticipate the construction works on high-rise buildings are at maximum risk. We advise that removal of this kind of foreign bodies be done in the theater and not outside because of risk of involvement of larger vessels leading to fatal hemorrhage. We further suggest that patients with nonprojectile injuries should undergo a preoperative computed tomography-angiography to rule out any vascular injury.

Keywords: nonprojectile, fall, hemorrhage, skull, penetrating injury, construction

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