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.
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.