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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Retained surgical swab: A case report

Rare disease

Joe Grainger, Damian McClelland, Nicholas C. Neal

CaseRepClinPractRev 2004; 5:474-476

ID: 12363

Available online: 2004-04-20

Published: 2004-04-20

Background: Supracondylar fractures of the humerus are common and surgical management is commonplace.Complications from operative fixation of supracondylar fractures of the humerus are
well recognised. We highlight an unusual complication following open reduction and fixation of a supracondylar fracture of the humerus in a child.Case Report: We present the case of a child who returned from Turkey where he had undergone open reduction and fixation of a supracondylar fracture of the humerus. Post-operatively he developed an antecubital fossa mass, which on histology was identified as a surgical swab.Conclusions: Although uncommon, a retained surgical swab should be considered in the differential diagnosis of any post-operative wound swelling especially given increasing world travel and differing surgical practices worldwide.

Keywords: Fracture Fixation, internal/complications, surgical sponge