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7-inch T-bird part removed from man's arm 51 years after car crash

Arthur Lampitt said the rod embedded in his arm when he crashed his Ford Thunderbird in 1963 didn't cause him any pain until a few weeks ago.

By Ben Hooper
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7-inch T-bird part removed from man's arm 51 years after car crash
Arthur Lampitt displays the turning signal lever in Granite City, Illinois on January 2, 2015, that was removed from his arm during a proceedure on December 31, 2014. In 1963, the 24-year-old Lampitt was driving his Ford Thunderbird when he was involved in an accident, in East Peoria, Illinois, breaking five ribs and his hip was severely broken in several places. Because all of the blood, assumed to be from glass, doctors failed to notice a metal rod Ð the T-bird's turn signal arm. In December 2014, Lampitt noticed a protrusion in his arm and was also feeling some pain. On December 31, 2014, a specialist removed the seven-inch rod from his arm in a 45 minute procedure. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- An Illinois man suffering pain in his arm underwent surgery to remove a turn signal rod embedded in his body when he crashed his Ford Thunderbird 51 years ago.

Arthur Lampitt, 75, of Granite City, said he was treated for injuries to the surface of his arm after the 1963 crash, but he did not know anything had remained stuck there until he set off a courthouse's metal detector about 10 to 15 years ago.

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Lampitt said his doctor performed an X-ray and determined there was a metallic object in his arm, but it was recommended it be left where it was as there was no pain or loss of functionality in his arm.

The retired real estate agent said the arm finally began to hurt a few weeks ago while he was doing work at a house he is repairing, and a specialist recommended surgery when the affected area started to swell.

Lampitt unearthed some pictures from his 1963 crash and began to suspect the metal object in his arm was the turn signal lever when he realized the object was missing after the Thunderbird's demise.

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Surgeons at City Place Surgery Center in St. Louis, Mo., operated on the arm for about 45 minutes on New Year's Eve and discovered the cause of Lampitt's problems was indeed the 7-inch turn signal lever.

Lampitt said he is planning to do something special with the lever, possibly turn it into a key chain.

"We'll figure out something, I am sure," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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