Visual diagnosis in emergency medicine| Volume 39, ISSUE 5, P647-649, November 2010

Foreign Body of the Shoulder

Published:September 01, 2008DOI:
      A 53-year-old man with a history of schizophrenia was brought to the Emergency Department (ED) by police and paramedics for medical clearance after his landlord called 911 out of concern for the patient's health. The patient had no complaints on arrival in the ED. The patient denied any recent problems and stated he regularly saw his psychiatrist for his schizophrenia. The patient's vital signs were normal with the exception of a temperature of 38°C (100.4°F). Physical examination was notable for a 4-cm metallic foreign body exposed and protruding from the anterior aspect of his right shoulder through a prior surgical incision site (Figure 1, Figure 2). Around the wound site, there was granulation tissue with purulent drainage. Upon further questioning, the patient reported that he had undergone a total right shoulder arthoplasty 3 or 4 years prior, and stated that his shoulder had been in this position since the surgery. He denied any recent fevers, pain, or difficulty with moving his right shoulder or arm.
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      Figure 1Photograph of anterior right shoulder with prosthesis protruding from wound site.
      Figure thumbnail gr2
      Figure 2Photograph of lateral aspect of right shoulder.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of Emergency Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Wirth M.A.
        • Rockwood Jr, C.A.
        Complications of shoulder arthroplasty.
        Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1994; : 47-69
        • Schwyzer H.K.
        • Simmen B.R.
        • Gschwend N.
        Infection following shoulder and elbow arthroplasty.
        Orthopade. 1995; 24: 367-375
        • Coste J.S.
        • Reig S.
        • Trojani C.
        • Berg M.
        • Walch G.
        • Boileau P.
        The management of infection in arthroplasty of the shoulder.
        J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2004; 86: 65-69