A British teenager who went to the hospital with a swollen hand discovered a tooth was embedded between his finger joints.
The 19-year-old told doctors he had accidentally struck his brother in the mouth when he came in between him and a punching bag, Daily Mail reported.
His brother left right after the punch so he did now know the extent of his injuries. The man then washed his hand, which had a cut on it, and went to bed.
The next day, the man woke up in a lot of pain. His hand was so swollen he couldn’t move his fingers.
Doctors diagnosed him with an infected human bite wound. They ordered an X-ray of his hand and made a startling discovery.
The X-rays showed that an entire human tooth, a lateral incisor, was embedded in the man’s hand. Swabs from the wound revealed that there was also some bacteria.
The man had the tooth surgically removed but not before it did some damage. Doctors said most of the muscle tissue surrounding the tooth had died. The tendons to his pinky were also frayed but mostly intact.
Doctors released the man after two days of treatment. The man’s wound was clean and he is reportedly recovering well.
Dr. Roshan Vijayan, a plastic surgeon at Queen Victoria Hospital in West Sussex, wrote about the bizarre injury in the BMJ Case Reports.
“This case was unusual in that an entire tooth was implanted into the patient’s hand and, remarkably, without his apparent knowledge,” he wrote.
The doctor also noted that, with injuries like this, it is important for patients to tell the truth and to not leave out any details. He said that an injury caused by human teeth can lead to serious infections because it could be contaminated with human saliva.
“Such an approach sticks to the facts of the mechanism of injury, without implying blame or collusion with a criminal investigation,” the doctor wrote.
Vijayan added that the patient's description of the accidental jab seemed “inconsistent.” He noted that it was more likely the injury was caused by an uppercut punch given that the tooth was found perpendicular to the lower finger bones.