Penetrating injury of the maxilla by needlefish jaws

Yaniv Ebner*, Daniel Golani, Dov Ophir, Yehuda Finkelstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Needlefish penetrating injuries have become a worldwide problem, inflicting critical morbidities and even mortalities. This is the first published case of needlefish injury in the Mediterranean basin. Case report: A 29 year old man was admitted to Meir Medical Centre in Israel with a penetrating facial wound caused by elongated needlefish jaws. The severity of the wound contrasted greatly with the expected injury from collision with a fish inflicting a small penetration lesion. The rigid jaws penetrated the maxilla transversely and obliquely from the left canine-fossae, through the nasal cavity, and to the right maxillary sinus, with its tip reaching the right medial-inferior orbital wall. The needlefish jaws were completely removed using a combined endoscopic and external approach. The course of surgery and hospitalization was uneventful and the patient was discharged with no complications. Conclusions: Fish inflicted critical facial injuries might be dangerously underestimated prima facie. The impact might be energetic enough to penetrate deep facial and vital cranial structures, hence thorough examination and imaging are recommended. Needlefish species are now common in the tropical and subtropical regions of all oceans and therefore this phenomenon is of interest to worldwide trauma medical providers, fishermen, divers, and also to marine-biologists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-238
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • endoscopic surgical procedure
  • maxillofacial injuries
  • mediterranean sea
  • needlefish
  • sports injuries


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