Arthur Lampitt of Granite City, Illinois, United States, smashed his brand-new Thunderbird in to a truck way back in 1963. Just recently, he had the 7-inch indicator lever from his former vehicle removed from its hiding place in Mr Lampitt’s arm.

According to the New York Post, Dr Tomothy Lang took out the lever from the patient’s arm during an operation which took about three-quarters of an hour to complete.

Apparently, at the time of the accident fifty-one years ago, there was less concern for his arm and a bit more for other parts of his body. Whilst Mr Lampitt’s arm appeared to heal quite well and quickly, he had also broken his hip in the accident. So this may have attracted more attention meaning the arm was over-looked.

About ten years back is when the man realised that he had something in his arm. He went to visit a courthouse and set off a metal detector as he was entering the building. Subsequent X-rays revealed that he had some piece of metal in his arm that set off the alarms, but since it cause him no pain whatsoever, the doctor told Mr Lampitt to let it be. So he did. But he still didn’t know what the piece was.

It was only very recently, more than fifty years of the accident and around a decade since he realised that something was in there, that it began to hurt as he was moving a few concrete blocks.

“Everything was fine until it started to get bigger,” said Mr Lampitt’s wife, Betty, according to news.com.au. “The arm started bulging.”

Mr Lampitt wondered if what was inside his arm was a piece of surgical equipment which had been left behind during his visit to hospital after the accident in 1963. He decided to have surgery and remove the item due to the reasons mentioned by his wife.

Just before the surgery, he dug up a bunch of old photographs of his beloved wrecked Thunderbird and noticed in one of them that the indicator was missing from the left side of the steering column. He figured this must be what was in his arm. Surgery proved him right. Upon removal Dr Lang told Betty that it was seven inches long. “Oh my God” she said.

The doctor said that a protective pocket of flesh had grown around the embedded lever.

“We see all kinds of foreign objects like nails or pellets, but usually not this large, usually not a turn signal from a 1963 T-Bird,” Dr Lang said. “Something this large often gets infected.”

Mr Lampitt, relieved to have the lever removed from his arm said that he was not sure what the might do with it. A keychain or some sort memorial position in the house, probably.