A young boy in China had to have surgery to remove a rubber band that had been completely absorbed by the flesh of his wrist.
Longlong, 4, was taken to the hospital after his parents noticed a red ring had formed around his wrist, according to the Daily Mail. Doctors initially assumed it was due to poor circulation caused by a silver bracelet his mother had given him that had become too tight, and Longlong was sent home.
When the problem persisted, doctors diagnosed it as a scar that could affect the growth of Longlong's arm. They prescribed him medication and scheduled an operation three months out.
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Shortly after, Longlong's wrist became swollen and blistered. He was again taken to the hospital, where doctors X-rayed his arm and eventually decided to operate on it.
They were shocked when they cut open Longlong's wrist and discovered a red elastic band under the skin. They removed it immediately.
"The elastic band had grown into the boy's flesh and was close to the bone," Doctor Fu Song of Chengdu Women and Children's Central Hospital said, according to the Daily Star. "We actually see several cases like this each year, but none as serious as Longlong's."
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A second look at the X-rays showed that the rubber band had been affecting the bone of Longlong's arm.
"If we didn't take the rubber band out, Longlong might have faced the danger of amputation," Song said, according to the Daily Mail.
Following the operation, Longlong admitted to putting the rubber band on his wrist, though it was not confirmed how long he had been wearing it.
Due to his parents' work schedules, Longlong reportedly spends a lot of time at his grandparents' house, where he dresses and bathes himself, allowing the problem to go unnoticed for longer than it otherwise would have.