Retained Sponge: A Rare Complication in Acetabular Osteosinthesis

Francisco Chana-Rodríguez*, 1, Rubén Pérez Mañanes 1, José Rojo-Manaute 1, Luz María Moran-Blanco 2, Javier Vaquero-Martín 1
1 Department of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Surgery, General University Hospital Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain
2 Department of Radiology. General University Hospital Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain.

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© Chana-Rodríguez et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the C/ de la Cañada, Nº 4, 6º A, 28030, Madrid, Spain; Tel: 0034649407936; Fax: 0034915868425; E-mail:


Retained sponges after a surgical treatment of polytrauma may cause a broad spectrum of clinical symptoms and present a difficult diagnostic problem. We report a case of retained surgical sponge in a 35-year-old man transferred from another hospital, that sustained a open acetabular fracture. The fracture was reduced through a limited ilio-inguinal approach. After 4 days, he presented massive wound dehiscence of the surgical approach. An abdominal CT scan showed, lying adjacent to the outer aspect of the left iliac crest, a mass of 10 cm, identified as probable foreign body. The possibility of this rare complication should be in the differential diagnosis of any postoperative patient who presents with pain, infection, or palpable mass.

Keywords: Fracture, pelvic, retained, sponge, surgery, treatment.