Man suffering from headaches for five months discovers he had chopsticks lodged in his skull after drunken brawl

CT scan of the chopsticks in the man's skull
The 35-year-old man presented at the hospital with symptoms including fluid discharge, vision loss and chronic headaches. Photo credit: Dan Tri Newspaper

When a person is suffering from headaches, common explanations can be dehydration, stress, or muscular tension - typically not a pair of chopsticks being lodged in their skull. 

For one man in Vietnam, however, chopsticks were, in fact, the cause of his severe headaches, with X-rays revealing the utensils had penetrated his nose and become stuck inside his head. 

According to Cong Luan, a local news publisher, the 35-year-old man presented at the Vietnam-Cuba Dong Hoi Friendship Hospital in the Quảng Bình Province with symptoms that included fluid discharge, vision loss and chronic headaches over a five-month period. 

Doctors conducted CT scans, which initially indicated the man was suffering from the possibly life-threatening neurological condition pneumocephalus: the presence of gas or air in the cranium, typically caused by head trauma. 

However, subsequent examinations discovered the root cause of the condition - a pair of broken chopsticks lodged in his skull that had seemingly entered through his nostrils. 

The patient later informed doctors he had been involved in a brawl during a drunken night about five months earlier, which led to a person stabbing his face with an unknown object. He claimed he sought treatment at a hospital following the incident, however no abnormalities or foreign objects were found during the initial examination, according to the daily Dan Tri newspaper. 

Speaking to local media, the man's family reportedly confirmed he had been "injured" during the drunken brawl but said he had no idea he had been attacked with chopsticks. 

CT scan.
Photo credit: Dan Tri Newspaper

Surgeons reportedly operated using microsurgery to seal a fistula - an abnormal connection between two body parts that had been caused by the injury. 

The patient is in a stable condition and has since been discharged from the hospital.