A boy needed a tooth removed from his skull after he was bitten during a football match, doctors have revealed.
The unidentified 14-year-old went to hospital five days after the unusual accident, complaining of a sharp pain in his skull.
Doctors in Portugal gave him antibiotics to try and clear up the infected wound on top of his head – but the drugs didn’t work.
Scans eventually revealed a foreign body in his skull – 12 days after he first sought hospital treatment.
Surgeons pulled out a tooth that was embedded in the wound, which the medics described as being ‘complicated’.
A 14-year-old boy needed a tooth removed from his skull after he was bitten during a football match. The tooth was eventually spotted in scans (pictured)
Dr Teresa Brito and her colleagues at Hospital de São Bernardo, Setúbal, published the tale in BMJ Case Reports.
On the match day, the boy was taken to hospital with a cut measuring 5cm on the right side of his head.
After having the laceration stitched up, doctors sent the boy home without further investigation.
The boy went to his local A&E five days after the accident with a high temperature, drowsiness and feeling of weakness.
The wound was cleaned and redressed, and he was given antibiotics that reduced his fever – but only for 24 hours.
Eight days after the accident, the boy returned to A&E with persistent pain on his head and pus leaking from the wound.
HOW DANGEROUS ARE HUMAN BITE WOUNDS?
Human bites are frequently overlooked when medics are making a diagnosis in the emergency room, according to doctors.
They are particularly notorious due to the fact human saliva contains different microbes which can transmit infectious diseases, according to a paper in the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock.
Early treatment, medications to stop infection and surgical evaluation are essential.
Studies have found that human bites are more common among men, with the most amount of incidences among those who are between 18 and 78 years of age.
Patients with bite injuries are often intoxicated, making the process of obtaining a reliable history and conducting a thorough examination difficult.
They are also frequently reluctant to admit to the cause of the injury, providing misleading histories.
Human bites tend to cause infections in 10 per cent of cases.
Source: Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock
Doctors saw an ‘inflamed abscess’ and admitted him to hospital, where paediatrics could monitor him while hooked up to intravenous antibiotics.
On his fourth day in hospital, doctors ordered a CT scan because the boy was far from recovered.
The medics suspected he had either a bone fracture or osteomyelitis – when the bone becomes infected.
But they were surprised to find a foreign object inside his skull, which appeared to be made of calcium or metal.
The next day, surgeons confirmed it was a tooth. After its removal, the boy was able to go home two days later.
The authors wrote: ‘Scalp infection after scalp laceration is a rare event, so it must raise awareness about its aetiology.
‘Human bites, as well as foreign bodies, are associated with wound infections and other complications as osteomyelitis.
‘This case describes a very rare complication following a human bite injury.’
While the teenager had only what was described as a ‘complicated wound’, head injuries during sport are common.
Sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21 per cent of all traumatic brain injuries among American children and adolescents, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
A traumatic brain injury can be the result of an object piercing the skull and entering brain tissue or a blow or jolt to the head.
Mild cases may result in a brief change in mental state or consciousness, while severe cases may result in coma or even death.
Human bite injuries, known as fight bite injuries, can carry serious complications if they are not treated appropriately.
In 2015, doctors in Queen Victoria Hospital, West Sussex, reported a teenager suffered severe damage to his hand after an entire tooth was found inside.
The 19-year-old had punched his brother in the face while boxing, but just washed his bloody hand under a tap before going to bed, completely unaware of the embedded tooth.
The next day he was in so much pain he went to A&E, where he had surgery to remove the tooth, discovered in x-rays.
Doctors said much of the tissue of the muscles around the tooth, which was found between his third finger and his little finger, had died.
The tendons to the little finger were found to be frayed but mostly intact.