Billy McNeely, 32, of Fort Good Hope, said he repeatedly complained about pain in his back following a stabbing, but doctors never took X-rays and told him the pain was from nerve damage, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.
"I've done some jail time in the past. The guards rub over you with a metal wand detector, and every time it hit my back in the jail it went off," he said.
McNeely said a lump formed in the painful spot on his back and earlier this week he touched it and felt something odd.
"My nail caught a piece of the tip of the blade that was underneath the skin and made a little sound, so that worried me," he said.
His girlfriend, Stephanie Sayine, examined the lump and discovered there was a blade embedded in his back.
Doctors removed a 3-inch knife blade from McNeely's back.
"I'm kind of upset with the health system," he said. "They should've X-rayed right off the beginning in case there was internal damage," he said.
McNeely said he is in contact with lawyers about potential legal action against the territory's health system.