Billy McNeely, 32, finally had the three-inch blade removed this week after finding a blade tip underneath his skin when he fingered an old scar.
McNeely, who lives in Fort Good Hope, in the Northwest Territory, was stabbed three years ago in a fight following an arm wrestling match.
He went to several doctors about a burning lump that formed on his back, but was told that the pain was due to nerve damage.
“They never took no X-rays, they just stitched me up, bandaged me up,” he told CBC News.
McNeely says that while he was doing time in jail, the metal detector would consistently go off when guards waved the wand over his back.
But despite repeated visits to the health center over the past three years, no one noticed the blade.
Finally feeling the blade under his skin, McNeely asked girlfriend Stephanie Sayine to take a look.
“I told Billy, ‘There's a knife sticking out of your back,’ she told the station.
"I was scared. I was ready to pull it out with tweezers."
Doctors pulled a 3-inch blade from a kitchen knife out of 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.”
McNeely, who asked to keep the blade as a souvenir, is now considering taking legal action against the territory’s health department.