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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361


BALLIM, S; GUNDRY, B; MAHOMED, S  and  VISSER, L. Intra-orbital knife blade foreign body: A case series. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2013, vol.51, n.4, pp.134-137. ISSN 2078-5151.

OBJECTIVE: To describe cases of intra-orbital knife blade foreign body following stabs to the orbit, together with a novel technique for removal. METHODS: Retrospective case series of 3 patients. RESULTS: All 3 patients had knife blades embedded in the orbit as a result of assault. The blades assumed the same direction within the orbit with varying degrees of depth, one causing serious vascular injury. In 2 cases the globes were intact after foreign body removal, with good visual outcomes. The third patient required enucleation. Two of the 3 knife blades were removed using a 'double bone nibbler' technique. The third was embedded without a handle and required removal with minor manipulation of the globe. CONCLUSIONS: Thorough investigation for vascular injury must be done before any attempted surgical removal. Visual outcomes can be good after removal of a knife blade foreign body. The double bone nibbler technique is promising for the controlled removal of embedded blades that are rigidly fixed.

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