CC BY 4.0 · VCOT Open 2020; 03(01): e23-e27
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1709451
Case Report
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Arthroscopic Removal of a Screwdriver Fragment in a Dog 6 Years after Femoral Fracture Repair

Massimo Petazzoni
1   Department of Orthopaedic, Clinica Veterinaria Milano Sud, Peschiera Borromeo, Milan, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.
Further Information

Publication History

20 October 2019

24 February 2020

Publication Date:
17 April 2020 (online)


Objective The aim of this study was to report an unusual case of an iatrogenic foreign body within the stifle joint, removed 6 years after distal femoral fracture repair in a small dog. Acute lameness was caused by a migrating screwdriver fragment, which had been lost during initial fracture repair and which did not cause clinical signs for years until dislodged inside the joint.

Case Report A male Jack Russell, 7 years of age, underwent plate and screws fixation to treat a Salter-Harris type I fracture at the age of 9 months. Seven months after surgery, partial implant removal was performed. Six years after fracture repair, the dog presented for a non-weight-bearing lameness and pain on the previously operated stifle joint, which occurred suddenly while walking on the leash. Radiographs revealed a small intra-articular metallic radiodense foreign body. Arthroscopy was used to remove the migrating broken-tip of a screwdriver from the medial aspect of the tibiofemoral joint. Retrieving the foreign body led to the immediate resolution of clinical signs without complications.

Conclusion By reporting this case of a forgotten foreign body retained inside a stifle joint for 6 years, we aim to illustrate the potential risk of leaving a piece of metal inside the body. A high index of suspicion for such complications should be kept a long time after surgery. Arthroscopy was a useful first-line tool for efficiently and mini-invasively treating this unusual problem.

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