Self-inflicted transparietal intraventricular nail: case report and surgical technique
Background Deliberate self-harm with stone- or hammer-driven nail through the cranium is unusual. The need is stressed for comprehensive radiological evaluation with computed tomography (CT) scan, with or without angiography, and removal through an open cranial procedure under general anaesthesia, rather than extraction through a burrhole under local anesthetic infiltration. Methods We present here a 27-year old male who presented at our Teaching Hospital setting with a self-inflicted hand-driven intracranial nail to the left parietal region. He had a detailed neurological examination, was evaluated pre-operatively with computerised tomography of the brain and underwent an open cranial procedure under general anaesthesia for nail retrieval. Psychiatric unit evaluated and managed him for chronic depression. Results The transparietal, intraventricular 10cm long nail was retrieved and associated abscess evacuated by an open cranial procedure. Pre-operative neurological impairments regressed and his mood stabilized with anti-depressants. He was discharged without further deficits and has remained well for over four years Conclusion Self-inflicted hand-driven intracranial nail is a very rare form of penetrating cranio-cerebral trauma. Preoperative computerised tomography scan of the brain, meticulous open cranial removal under general anaesthesia and psychiatric management enable discharge without further injury or deficits. On the other hand, removal through a burrhole or just pulling out the nail would not allow intraoperative visualisation of associated lesions; the latter also predispose to further vascular and parenchymal brain injuries, worsening neurolological impairments.
Key words: Intracranial Nail; Open Cranial Procedure; Psychiatric Evaluation.