Emergency Room Doctors Discover Blade Shaped Shard of Glass Behind Teen’s Cheekbone

July 23, 2019 Updated: July 23, 2019

A family in Seville, 332 miles south of Madrid, Spain, was surprised to discover their teenage boy had a blade-shaped shard of glass lodged behind his cheekbone for weeks a medical journal revealed on June 21.

Worried parents took their 14-year-old son to hospital after he kept complaining for about a month that it hurt when he chewed and that he was struggling to open his mouth fully.

The Journal of Emergency Medicine revealed that doctors from the emergency department (ED) at Virgen del Rocio University Hospital organized an x-ray scan. They discovered what appeared to be a light, rectangular shaped object lodged behind the left cheekbone in the child’s face.

“A panoramic radiograph that was initially obtained in the ED revealed a partially radiopaque and well-defined rectangular image of approximately 3.5 cm (1.4 inches) in length in the tuberosity of the left maxilla,” the hospital team including Rodolfo Belmonte-Caro, Alberto Garcia-Perla-Garcia, Rafael Martinez-de-Fuentes, and Pedro Infante-Cossio said in an article published in the journal.

Doctors organized a second non-contrast computed tomography (CT) scan that clearly showed a foreign object measuring 1.4 inches long and 0.4 inches wide.

“[We found] a radiopaque foreign body, homogeneous and isodense with the bony cortex, compatible with a piece of glass … which had the shape of a knife blade,” the team said. “It was located in the left deep temporal space, medial to the zygomatic arch, penetrating through the temporal and lateral pterygoid muscles, and placed between the coronoid process and the zygomatic-maxillary suture.”

When asked whether he could remember how the glass penetrated his body, the child remembered fainting and crashing into a glass window about four weeks earlier.

The accident wounded his cheek, and he was previously treated at another hospital for the wound and left facial hematoma, or an accumulation of blood that is external to blood vessels. However, the first medical team had no idea there was still a shard of glass lodged behind his cheekbone.

“Initial examination showed a scar on the cheek and revealed a limitation to open his mouth (1 cm), with deviation of the jaw to the left side and pain when moving the jaw,” the second medical team said. “There was no facial paralysis or anesthesia. The palpation of his oral cavity was normal.”

The ED doctors suggested the first medical team may not have searched for the glass because it is a “relatively rare event” according to Fox News. This is because the cheekbone normally prevents any foreign objects from entering area.

The boy regained the function of his jaw after a surgical procedure that involved removing the glass from inside his mouth with a pair of surgical forceps according to the Daily Mail. There were no further complications recorded after the teen returned for a check-up six months later according to Fox News.

“He has been followed for six months with no relevant clinical and radiographic findings,” the team said.

Click here to read the full article, Penetrating glass foreign body in the deep temporal space.