Hardware Removal

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I fractured my ankle tibia and fibula in September 2016. I've had an ORIF surgery and the doctors inserted a plate and seven screws. I've managed to fully recover and everything fine. Aside from the swelling and limited range of motion. I was thinking that if I were to remove the hardware, maybe I'd regain more flexibility? 

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  • Posted

    I am 4 months post the OIRF and planning to do the hardware removal next month. the surgeon told me i'll feel more comfortable in walking, less swelling, more flexibility, and it will take 2 days to recover to the state before the removal. I am still wondering! 

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  • Posted

    I am only 3 weeks post ORIF surgery. My surgeon is recommending I remove 1 of the screws but nothing else. I am concerned about leaving the rest of the plates and screws. Please keep us up-to-date if you decide to get everything removed. I am interested in your recovery process, ect.
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  • Posted

    No I wouldn't. Your Doctor should tell you if you need to get the hardware out!! Or not!! If it's getting infected yes you will get the Hardware remove but the hardware stays in you!!! Ask first!!! I broke the some thing!! I got two steel plates and 18 screws!!! I messed up my ankle pretty bad!! Good luck!! God bless!!

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  • Posted

    I'll let you know how I go. Broke my fibula in half Oct 2015. 100% Non Union so had a bone graft Feb 10 2016. Plate and 6 screws. I've done my best and pushed myself but if I stand or even sit too long in same place I get a kinda electric shock pain in plate area. So enough is enough. Next Wednesday it comes out. Email if if you want to know how it pans out.

    👣👣👣👣👣

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  • Posted

    I had ORIF for a trimal fracture about 6.5 months ago. I've healed well, can do most things although I haven't tried running or jumping. My hardware is causing me pain and swelling...so I'm planning to get it removed in the fall. I have a plate and 6 screws. My range of motion is pretty good, although limited. I did a lot of PT and home exercises, helped so much with the ROM. My reason for removing the hardware is the continued pain. Has your Dr. been open to discussing your hardware removal?

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  • Posted

    I too had ORIF for trimalleolar dislocation on left ankle on 3/19/18

    Im doing PT 3 days a week to increase ROM, and in the gym 3 days to keep muscles strong. My surgeon said hardware stays for lifetime unless systematic problem occurs or infection, etc. He told me removing plates and screws leaves the bone compromised again and weak as there are holes. Takes time to heal after removal. Keep posting updates, im anxious to hear how removal goes. I have about 50% ROM back with lots of swelling and aches. Ive not tried any jumping or running type of activity yet.

    Good luck!

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    • Posted

      I realised that we had the surgery on the same day :D, im 36 male, I walk 80% normally, with sport shoe I walk and we can't easily catch the limp, but without any shoe it's noticable. I am removing the screws next month. how about you 

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    • Posted

      I will be curious to see how your hardware removal goes. I have a 3inch plate and 9 screws. I am 48 yr, female. Very active, so this has been a huge setback. I still have a slight limp. Have fairly good ROM, ankle just stays stiff always. I wear a good running shoe mostly. My PT suggested pool exercise, hopping up and down to start the run, jump process. I meet with my surgeon next month and again will inquire about removal, as i still struggle going down steps fluidly, the screws are impinging this flexibility. Will look for your updates. Best of luck :-)
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  • Posted

    Hello all. I read over all the posts and they were helpful, but I wanted to tell my story and see your thoughts. I am a 30 year old female. I was ran over by a car and had Open Reduction Internal Fixation Surgery on my left medial ankle in 8/2011 which resulted in 2 large screws, a few small screws ( I cant recall how many) and one plate. As a result from the surgery, I got MRSA and then had to get anther I&D (incision and drainage) sugery later in 8/2011 to clear out MRSA. An intravenous PIC line was put in where Vancomycin was administered for a month to clear out infection. This all led me to have a large open wound that I had to keep open post surgery then pack wet to dry with gauze and saline for 2 months until the tissue grew back in. Once wound had closed (which is rather large), I did physical therapy for 6 months after and got most of my mobility and range of motion back. I now have a depressed contracted adherent scar over my left medial malleolus. Although the surrounding tissue is supple and mobile, and my left leg peripheral pulses are full, the impression of the scar is poor quality. I saw a plastic surgeon in 2012 concerned of the location of the scar who told me that the scar was over a bony prominence that will be prone to breakdown in the future. He said that light trauma could damage the skin and result in bone exposure. He said it would be easier to remove the scar and resurface the mallelus with a proximally based rotational flap while adjacent tissue is healthy and I am young with good blood supply. Although, he did also say complicatons come with flap coverage which include infection, skin loss, and need for more complex surgery to gain optimum closure. The look of the scar is not what is bothering me. What concerns me is that it is prone to breakdown. Over the last few years there has been swelling on a regular basis within my ankle, especially after working out. I know this is common and did not bother me much until I started to get pain. In past 2 years, if standing on it for a long period of time or engaging in a very strenous activiity, I will have sharp shooting pains that only last a few minutes (which I was fine with and dealt with). I have always been somewhat active. I currently go to spin class 5 days a week. I figure this would be better than running as its not as high impact on ankle. Every once in awhile, I have had a dull aching pain in my ankle. If I do intense weight bearing activity for long periods of time, it aches and swells. I have also noticed a little bump which appears to be the back of the screw possibly pushing out. On 3/15/2016, I went to see an orthopedic surgeon (5 years after surgery) to get a follow up XRAY to see if there was any misplacement of hardware or anything he would see immediatly wrong. The surgeon said he does not see much movement of screws, but could feel the back of the screw through the scar, which is okay. He does not think it will puncture the skin in future but can't say for sure. He recommended that I get hardware taken out eventually if I want pain to discontinue, but said its up to me. From what I have read sometimes that does not even happen. He also suggested if I ever got the screws taken out to have him and plastic surgeon work concurrently in operating room to insure that the wound is closed appropriately for best healing because of the poor quality of the scar and all the trauma there has been to that area in the past. Present day, I feel like the screw as moved even more as the bump is more prominent and it looked darker in the area, as if you can see coloring of screw. However, this is no bruising around the area. I don't know what to do. I am so paranoid I will have a MRSA issue again or I am scared that if I am cut open again, my wound is not going to heal correctly and then I will need more complex surgery to full closure. Please let me know if anyone has had any issue such as myself and what they think I should do.  Thank you.

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