See Screws

Posted , 5 users are following.

On July 29 I stepped off a step wrong way I shattered my fib and broke tib, surgery on July 30th.  I had 12 screws and 2 plates.  Cast was removed sept 7 and I started physio sept 12, only weight bearing still after 4 weeks to a couple steps.  Swelling and pain still 7/10 always elevated and icing!!  But now on my ankle bone I can see 3 screw bumps on my ankle is this normal??  Busy mother who is down and out!!  

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  • Posted

    Hello Hewy,

    I had an ORIF, complex fracture of the fibula, ankle dislocation and torn ligaments in my left ankle on July 13th.

    There were eight screws and a plate inserted during surgery and I was unable to bear any weight until a few weeks ago -- it has been a long haul for sure.

    About three weeks ago or so I started to notice a bump protruding from my ankle and sure enough it was one of the big screws backing out.  It wasn't overly painful but it was quite noticeable and a little tender around the area.

    Last Wed, Sept. 27th, I had the two biggest screws removed, the other six and the plate will remain.

    When I went for my appt. the Orthopedic surgeon wasn't very concerned about the screw backing out and it was removed without incident.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it, unless of course it really starts to cause you some grief.

    Unfortunately, this process is lengthy, painful and very frustrating.  Just keep on doing what you are doing, and try to be patient (I know, it's damned near impossible sometimes) -- you will get there.

    Positive thoughts your way for a quick recovery smile

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    • Posted

      Hey Deb,

      How difficult/ painful was the procedure to remove the screws? 

      I have had one surgery and two additional  procedures since my fall plus spent a week in the hospital and I do not want anything else done to my poor ankle and foot.  Did you have several incisions? I have plates and screws on top of my foot and on both sides of my ankles so my ankle looks terrible and there is hardwear everywhere it seems. 

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    • Posted


      Oh boy, that's a lot of hardware ... sounds very painful.

      After the original surgery to repair the damage, which consists of one large incision up the outside of my leg and one smaller one on the inside across the ankle bone, there was a second one done almost three weeks in to clean the bone chips out.  This surgery was worse than the first because it disturbed the original incisions, and added two more 'portholes' to my growing collection.  It was very painful.

      Then, 11wks. in was the screw removal, that was last wed, sept. 27th. There are eight screws and a plate in there, and they removed the two longest screws that went thru the fibula and the tibia.  One of these long ones was backing out of my ankle so there was a lump on the outside of my ankle where it was starting to stick out.  Not painful but was tender around the area.  

      Unfortunately they only use a local to freeze the ankle, and I had three needles to do the job.  It is not a pleasant procedure as the needles hurt an already very sore area.  Enough said.  They just made a small incision in the large one already there and put in a few stitches.  

      I have found that the incision itself is not overly sore, but it has caused the front of my ankle to be very sore again and adds to the discomfort of trying to get my ankle loosened up during physio.

      I think one of the things I have found the most frustrating is that I get to the point where the pain is easing up and becoming tolerable and they are operating again on the ankle.  

      However, I am hoping there is nothing left to do except leave me alone and get on with healing without further intervention.  

      I have attached a couple of pictures, hope I don't offend anyone.

      I wish you a speedy recovery, be as patient as you can and be good to yourself.  Take care,



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    • Posted


      Thanks for the info. As long as the infection doesn’t return the surgeon doesn’t plan to remove any hardware but I do feel a screw and the edge of a plate. I would be fine to have these things follow me to the grave. Lol I don’t want anyone touching this area again. 

      I understand your feelings of getting better and then having another issue to deal with.

      It seems to be a never ending ordeal. 

      I was lucky and only had a couple of bone chips and they are not interfering with the joint or movement.  Your pics look very similar to mine. 

      Sending positive thoughts your way! 


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  • Posted

    Wow, we have almost the same story! July, 25, I missed my 3rd step off of my front porch and shattered my Tibia / Fibula. Surgery was July 26.  I have 2 plates and 15 screws, My post op splint was removed Aug I5 and I was placed in a walking boot, however i am still NWB .I find it interesting that you're allowed to bear some weight.  Yes, I too can see an outline of the plates and some screws particularly around my lower ankle. I can't answer if this is normal as I don't follow up with my Orthopedic Surgeon until Oct 17 but I have wondered the same!  This our injury, I have been told is a very complicated fracture and rehabilitation is lengthy!  I keep searching for the reason this happened but I am at a lost and down and out too!  I have been working remotely from home for the past 9 weeks but recently, I am too tired to even do that!  How are you managing with your children?  Rhonda

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    • Posted

      Thanks to my husband for being as great as he has been!!  That is the only way I have have managed!!  my pt only has me doing 2 steps here and there in walking boot!!  But surgeon said as tolerated!! I can't tolerate anything right now!!  Best of luck to you!! I would like to hear what they say for your follow up as I have mine 2 days after.

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    • Posted

      Rhonda- I continue to see forum members who could WB  after just a few weeks. I thought I was way behind because of the osteomyelitis but it sounds like you and I were hurt and had surgery at nearly the same time.

      I too have worked from home and have been going to my office for a few hours a day this week and dis so for a couple of days last week for meetings but I’m exhausted.  

      When will you be able to do partial weight bearing?  



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  • Posted

    It sounds as though you had a fall and injury very  similar to mine. 

    I had surgery on 7/26 and still am not allowed to bear weight. I’m sure you are having pain and swelling and I know it’s difficult. 

    I can see the edges of two plates and one of many screws. I showed it to the doc and he was not concerned.

    I developed osteomyelitis so my healing was somewhat delayed. I can bear partial weight in two weeks and  I am excited and a bit fearful because my ankle and foot still swell a great deal. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Hewy! I broke my ankle in 2 places and, after 8 weeks the cast was removed. The doctor and radiologist weren't totally happy with the X-ray results. There I was hoping for good news, but now I was neither here nor there. I started thinking I may need plates and screws. The orthopaedic surgeon was consulted and he thought I should be ok without pursuing surgery. This didn't really help me feel better. One of the doctors told me that if my ankles didn't "work out", there is  always the option of surgery. After 1/2 a dozen X-rays and now this uncertainty; my life as an invalid seems like a never ending story. I know there are many people on this forum that are more unfortunate than I. By reading about your experiences and others; it gets me ready as to what I may expect if I need surgery with plates and screws. Here's hoping that we all recover nicely. I think we all have our own recovery timeline. All the best for you Hewy!

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