Intrathoracic migration of a Steinman wire: a case report and review of the literatureReport as inadecuate

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Cases Journal

, 2:8321

First Online: 14 July 2009Received: 16 June 2009Accepted: 07 July 2009DOI: 10.4076-1757-1626-2-8321

Cite this article as: Sergides, N.N., Nikolopoulos, D.D., Yfadopoulos, D.K. et al. Cases Journal 2009 2: 8321. doi:10.4076-1757-1626-2-8321


IntroductionMigration of orthopaedic fixation wires into the thoracic cavity occurs infrequently, but can have dire consequences. Although rare, intrathoracic migration is a serious complication that demands immediate removal.

Case presentationWe present a case of a 59-year-old man with an intrathoracic migration of a Steinman wire used for the treatment of a shoulder fracture. Surprisingly, the migration was asymptomatic. The Steinman wire was successfully retrieved from the thorax via thoracotomy.

ConclusionThe migration of pins and wires can cause fatal complications and should be considered as very hazardous. Therefore, if wires need to be used, terminally threaded pins are safer and the free end should be bent. The patients should be frequently followed, both clinically and radiographically, until all the wires are removed.

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Author: Neoptolemos N Sergides - Dimitrios D Nikolopoulos - Dimitrios K Yfadopoulos - Evanthia A Novi - Maria P Kanata


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