Left ankle ORIF Surgery- Metal plate coming loose?

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I'm nearly 6 weeks post surgery of a left ankle weber B fracture, plus an avulsion fraction to the other side.

They put a plate in the weber B fracture, and I've been none-weight-bearing in a fibre cast since.

Stitches came out 3 weeks post surgery and new cast on.

Yesterday I felt a sharp prickling and then heat from the stitches site, and I'm really paranoid that it's come loose. Can anyone help?!

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    I have screws in my ankle and on occasion I had weird feelings in that area

    Also had the burning sensation.

    I was told that was part of the healing process

    As always, if you are not comfortable always consult your doctor

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  • Posted

    Hi Abbie

    I am also sitting with a fiber cast on my right ankle/lower leg for 4 weeks now, another two to go. I had a loose bandaged back support splint post-op for 8 days (arthrodesis of my ankle). Om the 8th day my surgeon took it off, checked the self dissolving stitches , painted the scars with an iodine solution and stuck what looked like a sterile paper strip on the cuts. Then he applied a full fiber cast. I have also had a prickling sensation a few times, especially if I am not keeping the cast higher than my heart. The legs tends to swell up if it hangs down and that causes pressure on the scars against the cast.

    After three weeks your wounds should have been healed sufficiently to not get infected under a cast. Normally it takes around 14 days for wounds to heal and stitches to be removed. Sometimes heat also builds up on the skin in the cast and causes discomfort. Water can also cause bacterial growth between the skin and the cast and therefore it's very important to try and keep any moisture out of the space between the leg and cast. I have been doing the shower thing with my cast wrapped well in non-perforated cellophane plastic and than sealed in another watertight plastic bag (refuse type bag) that is taped to my leg with waterproof tape. It is a bit of a nuisance, but works perfectly and I have very little itching and discomfort at this stage.

    I will not worry too much, monitor it and if it persists and becomes almost unbearable, then I will have it checked out.



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  • Posted

    Thanks everyone.

    I think I'm just being paranoid. It goes and comes so if it was the metal plate being loose, it would be all the time.

    Not sure if its swelling going down on and then the scar pressing against a different bit of cast or what, but no longer catastrophising!

    8 days left until the cast comes off!

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  • Posted

    Hi Abbie

    Best wishes for 2020!.

    I was just wondering if you got rid of the cast and if everything is in order?.

    I took my cast off yesterday..decided to leave it in 2019 and going into the new decade with no cast on my leg. Technically two days early but I have it safe in the boot. I can actually feel the metal plate that was inserted to fuse the joint. Wounds all healed and the foot feels quite good. Just have to get thru the next six weeks of 'Moon-booting' and hopefully by then, my ankle will be healed.

    I hope yours also heals well, take it easy and don't push it unnecessarily, it will only extend your healing process.


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    • Posted

      Hey LDT,

      I had my cast off on Monday, no re-Xray, just off. Wound looks mostly good, slightly less healed at the bottom than at the top.

      Still quite swollen on all sides, but range of movement isn't bad (and getting better) and the swelling is starting to reduce. Bruises have all gone.

      I did have an avulsion fracture on the inside too, so lots of soft tissue damage too that all needs to strengthen back up after being none weight bearing for so long.

      I haven't got a boot or anything, just orders to crack on as I feel able to.

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