Ultrasound of Hand to Rule Out Nonradiopaque Foreign Body

History: A 70-year-old male with pain and swelling of the palm of the hand and second finger. The patient thought he has had a large, wooden splinter in his hand for years. An MRI at an outside facility (below, two images) showed inflammation, but not foreign body was identified.

Plain x-ray and CT are best to identify radio-opaque foreign bodies, such as metal, glass or cement.

Ultrasound is the exam of choice and is superior to MRI to evaluate for non-opaque foreign bodies, such as wood.

An ultrasound (below) showed a large, wood splinter in the patient's finger.

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