Removal of Hardware?

Welcome Forums Community Forum Removal of Hardware?

This topic contains 37 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  mike 9 months ago.

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  • #524 Reply

    Zach

    Hey I broke my tibal plateau August 2012 during a football practice. I had surgery the following day, I had 3 screws put in to realign the tibia. Rehab was tough, but I pushed through it. I was able to come back and play basketball this past season. It took me more than a year to feel comfortable again. I’m now considering getting the 3 screws removed. My doctor said it was fine I would have no restrictions after the surgery just 2 weeks for the stitches to heal. I just wanted to know if anyone has had their hardware removed and if they can just explain their experience.

  • #646 Reply

    Margaret

    Hello. I had screws removed four weeks ago. They caused me a lot of pain when I walked for any length of time and especially on uneven ground such as forest trails or cobblestones. I had the operation as a day patient and was off work for two weeks and am on light duties for four weeks. I’ve not to sky-dive, play rugby or fall off my bike for a few more months. The operation was not that painful and I took paracetemol and used ice for a few days. I did not need crutches. I have a hard, slightly tender lump measuring about one inch in the area of the incision and am told that this sometimes happens. I go back to see the doctor about it tomorrow. Surfing the net has made me wonder if it is a hard seroma. It is not a big deal and I can live with it. Life is great without the screws. They don’t wake me up at night and over the Easter weekend I went for long walks across the moors – something that would have caused problems before.

  • #976 Reply

    Glen

    I want to take mine out too. It’s been a year and a half. At a year I asked my ortho doc about it and he isn’t too keen. Said, ” do you have any idea how hard it was to put all that in there.” Mine bugs me too. I feel it all the time. I hope I can get him to remove it. So it does feel better? I asked some folks at PT who have had their metal removed (other than TPF) and they said it was the best thing they ever did.

  • #989 Reply

    Julie

    Is anyone not bothered by hardware left in?

    • #110439 Reply

      mike

      I had a severe, complex ,mulitiple tibia plateau fracture from a motor bike injury. They put four crews in and I needed a second op to remove a stray bone chip preventing my knee from straightening. I have had my metal in for 3 years and am getting brave enough to get them removed. I dont really battle with my screws but one pinches the skin if I kneel on it. I also fear that they act as conducters when the weather is cold making my knee slightly stiff.
      I train 3 times a week for two years and have got my leg to 90% normal.
      After surfing the net it seems that I wont bother with removal anymore as it seems that the surgeons advocate removal only if pain nessestates it.

  • #1470 Reply

    Eileen

    Before my injury earlier this month, I was very active, flexible, and strong. Now, I wonder if I will ever be able to do the things I once enjoyed so much. I have a plate, eight screws, and a bone graph. My OS said I should not even think about ever getting the hardware removed. He was vague when I asked if my knee would ever be fully healed and strong enough to function without the metal. Has anyone had a similar surgery and been able to get the hardware removed?

  • #1493 Reply

    Veronique

    I know 2 people with a tibial plateau fracture whose hardware was removed, and they were happy about it.
    Mine is planned to be taken out in November-December, 1 year after my accident.
    Belgian doctors say that – if medically possible – it is better to remove the pins and screws, for they may cause internal damage when you fall on your knees.
    The hardware has caused me daily pain since 3rd December. The more active my day, the more my knee swells and the more the pin and srews pushes from the inside out. An ordeal.

  • #1497 Reply

    e

    Thank you for sharing. One more thing to ponder while I am still NWB.

  • #1504 Reply

    Nichole

    Eileen, Our surgeries sound very similar. I had 8 screws and two plates and a bone graft put in 7 weeks ago. I have also asked my OS twice and he still says they need to remain in. Truth is my recovery was so brutal I cant imagine going through surgery again!

  • #1514 Reply

    Eileen

    Nichole,

    Although the surgery pain was like nothing I had ever experienced, I cannot imagine how my leg will ever function properly with all of that metal left in it. Also, I am concerned about what the hardware might do to my bone if I have another accident. I have only seen my OS a few brief times since the surgery — my questions are always sent to PA’s. I am hoping to get more answers from my OS when I have my next X-ray in mid-July. I hope your recovery is going well. Eileen

  • #1571 Reply

    Eileen

    Update on removal of hardware. Although I have not received any more info from my OS, several medical professionals have explained that the bone grows around the hardware making removal difficult. I am still concerned that the hardware will prevent my jumping and running activities. I continue to stay hopeful and rely on faith.

  • #1724 Reply

    Kay Owen

    I had my surgery 6/14/13 and the hardware continues to cause pain. I am scheduled to have the hardware removed with a knee replacement in October 2014. The OS did not think it will be a problem. The OS is so popular I can’t get in until October so I am confident this will the final fix to a very bad year and a half. He does the surgery through the side of the knee and cuts no muscle. Your posts are encouraging. I Will let you all know the outcome, but it is a long way off.

  • #1770 Reply

    Eileen

    All,

    Last week, the OS indicated that if the hardware is bothering me, I CAN get it removed in a year. That was all the encouragement I needed for the moment. I am learning patience and perseverance in adversity.

    Kay,

    Are you getting the knee replaced because of the pain of the hardware? Was that your last option? I hope you are able to get a good recovery.

  • #1793 Reply

    Kay

    I am getting the knee replaced because it was also injured in the accident. The OS said he had to push my knee together because he had to attach the plate to it. The knee is also painful and restricts movement. I am afraid replacement is my only option to get my life back. I can’t wait and the OS I am going to was very optimistic.

  • #2361 Reply

    Eileen

    I have been asking many questions about having my hardware removed. First the answer was never, and the answer was in 12 months, then 18 months.

    During my constant questioning, one ortho mentioned that experimental hardware has been designed to degrade and be absorbed by the body. Wish I had that kind of hardware.

  • #2469 Reply

    Morticia

    I had 2 pins, 2 plates and 13 screws in my leg. Bone became infected, hardware had to be removed after only 6 months. That was no problem, but the infection was very painful as it ate quite a chunk out of my leg. It is still very painful. My accident was in October 2012.

  • #2627 Reply

    Eileen

    Morticia,

    Are you doing better now?

    Eileen

  • #3486 Reply

    Kay

    I had a total knee replacement and the plate removed from my leg 4 weeks ago. It has been a year and a half since my tpf. My knee flexes 130 and straightens 0. I walk without a cane or walker (my surgeon did not cut any muscle), My leg is straight again. I still have pains in the area of the plate especially at night. My doctor is pleased and says I need to give my body time to heal. It is already better than before the surgery.

  • #3519 Reply

    Eileen

    Kay,

    Thanks for sharing. I am encouraged by your post as I await hardware removal in December.

    Eileen

  • #3665 Reply

    Max

    There are bad days cold and changes in pressure are factors. For the most part though I have not had consistent pain from the hardware.

  • #4027 Reply

    zara

    My TPF happened Oct 2013. 12 months later i was still experiencing pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted range of motion, but the surgeon was happy with everything despite my concerns. I’m only 25.

    It was an understudy of this surgeon who felt that my restricted range of motion and pain were reasons enough to remove my hardware. He also insisted that arthroscopy be done just to make sure nothing else was going on.

    On November 14th 2014 i had the surgery. They discovered i had 2 meniscus tears that had gone unnoticed from the original surgery, despite them doing an MRI to check it all out in the beginning. They were also unable to remove one of the screws, as it was infused with the bone.

    I have just started physio again to correct my walking and strengthen muscles that haven’t been used in over a year. So far i have noticed that my leg feels a lot straighter, bending is still a bit stiff, but it’s still early days and i’m hopeful that it will only get better from here on in.

    I strongly advise anyone who feels that there is something not right with their TPF to be very persistent with their surgeons and GP’s.

  • #4243 Reply

    Eileen

    Zara,

    I am glad you are doing better. I only waited six months and was fortunate that all of my hardware came out. After my knee heals from this surgery, I am hoping that I will have better function and less pain. However, I may need to have the scope as well.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Eileen

  • #4608 Reply

    Eileen

    DAY TEN post-hardware:

    I wake up every morning and thank God that the annoying hardware is gone! I am hopeful–from how things feel so far–that I will also have better function.

    Eileen

  • #5294 Reply

    Eileen

    Hello All,

    The second surgery was so much easier than the first–less pain, faster healing. Post surgery, the pain is gone, and the function and range of motion are improved. I am so glad my surgeon changed his mind about removing the hardware.

    I wish you good healing.

    Eileen

  • #5476 Reply

    jim

    Each story I read adds a little to my understanding and comfort with my decisions. I have read dozens, so now time to give back to the woodpile.

    TPF and “probable” ligament damage (loose knee), torn meniscus 2/13, skiing accident. Had repair 5 days later, plate, putty and 8 large screws. Pretty typical from what I have read. 3 months NWB and I was compliant–foot did not touch the ground for 3 months. Nasty muscular atrophy to affected quad, hammy and calf. Almost no visible muscle. Began rehab/PT for a few months then continued on my own, lots of clicking and gravelly noises and no stability or strength. FF a year and x-rays showed bone healed enough to do whatever I could. Me: “Doc, can I…” Doc: I don’t know, can you?” Pain in area of plate when I increased load through leg which so decided to have metal removed. Easy procedure, walking 24 hours later and rehabbing the following week. 2 months later hiking 3 miles on hilly ground 4x/week. Now I am skipping rope, rowing, elepticizing, skating. Pain at tib plateau area under patellar tendon but leg strength coming back.

    LESSONS: 1. What looks grim WILL get better with time and hard work. 2. I am better off without the hardware, as I can put load through leg now with no pain to location of the place and screws. This should lead to greater ability to increase strength.

    GOOD LUCK AND KEEP YOUR CHIN UP!!

  • #5904 Reply

    Miram

    Hi there, this site helped me a lot, by Reading all the experiences of fellow tpf sufferes and seeing the proces of recovering i was somehow more prepared for my own proces. I’m Dutch and as a good dutchy i bike a lot and during one icy evening i fell and sufferd a TPF Schatzker VI.
    Three weeks ago, just over a year after the fracture i had my hardware removed and i can recommand that to everybody!
    I had 1 plate and 6 screws and although they didn’t bother me that much, i always felt them in my leg.
    Now i feel that this is my leg again! I asked the doctor to make a ‘nice’ stitching which he did. Pain was present for a couple of days, but it was certainly worth it.
    If you ever hesitate about wheter you should or should not remove the hardware, go for it! When the bone is healed your body doesn’t need any osteosyntetic material.
    Wish you all good healing and many thanks to everyone on this site for sharing experiences,
    Be well

  • #6169 Reply

    Pamela Taylor

    Eileen
    your experience sounds similar to mine. I was very active with weight training and killer hour long spinner classes 3 – 4 times a week as well as power walking.
    I have a plate and 8 screws as well as bone cadaver grafting. I had the operation on Jan. 27 and am struggling with ROM. I cannot imagine having the hardware taken out. Going through another operation would be hell.
    the inactivity is hard to take isn’t it?

  • #6170 Reply

    Lesley

    Hi Eileen,
    I am most interested in your posts as I too need my hardware removing. My fracture has now healed according to my latest x Ray but I still cannot walk properly despite having pretty good movement. I exercise each day and use an exercise bike to build up muscles that wasted during my time NWB. However, I continue to experience pain and soreness around the top of the plate and my scar still feels warm to the touch even after 7 months. It feels as if the plate is causing some sort of inflammation and my leg gets really hot in bed. The soreness is now keeping me awake too. I am on the list to have the hardware removed but my surgeon has given me worst case scenarios about removal. I don’t think I will ever walk properly with it in so don’t feel I hAve a choice. I feel it all the time. I have walked quite a bit today and now I feel as if I have some sort of cutter around my knee that is slicing every time I move. It is most uncomfortable and sore. I have taken early retirement because of this injury but now have the opportunity of teaching one day a week on a casual basis but I feel disabled and although I have said yes I know it is going to be a struggle because of the hardware pain. How is your recovery going now? I need a bit of reassurance because I am not looking forward to more surgery but equally I cannot go on with the plate in my leg. Glad you seem to be doing so well.
    Good wishes,
    Lesley (UK)

    Lesley (UK)

  • #6186 Reply

    Eileen

    Lesley,

    I am so glad I came back to the forum to share my experiences. While surgery has its dangers, I am so happy that I had the hardware removed. I too felt that the hardware was painful and was interfering with the movement of my knee. I too felt disabled. After the surgery, I felt better the next day! Yes, the surgery hurt, but it was a temporary rather than a permanent pain. The scaring over the hardware site is slowly becoming less painful and my knee is moving like MY knee. I no longer feel disabled. I walk normally, and stand to teach — just as I used to. This past week, I was able to “run” on an elliptical machine.

    I felt confident I was making the right decision — I trusted God and my surgeon. Please let me know what decision you make. I wish you good healing.

    Eileen

  • #6193 Reply

    Lesley

    Good morning Eileen,
    Thank you for the encouraging words. I am just waiting for a date for surgery. The hardware has to go as it is causing too much pain. I am longing to feel normal again. However, I am mobile. I can drive. I can go shopping – just- usually stand at the checkout stretching the leg! It could be worse and it will only be about a 3 month wait. Great to hear you can teach again. I took early retirement because of the tpf. I’m glad I did but I do miss the students and I do have the opportunity to work one day a week. I remain positive that I will make a good final recovery. Your post has given me heart. Thank you. Have a good day.
    Best wishes,
    Lesley

  • #6198 Reply

    Jacqueline

    I had my hardware removed one week ago, original fracture surgery was Sept 8, 2014. He also scoped my knee. I no longer have the hard shin pain, foot and ankle pain that no one could figure out why. Knee is much better. Still some tenderness at surgical site. I am so glad to be rid of that harder pain. I even spoke to the surgeon about doing a better scar. He stitched it like plastic surgery. It still has steri strips on it but I saw one area of the scar and it’s going to look great, not ugly like before. Recovery so far much easier than original surgery. I’m full weight bearing, no crutches. Even my swelling is less. Good luck.

  • #6200 Reply

    Lealey

    Hi Jacqueline,
    I think it is the right decision for me too. I have just done a day’s teaching for the first time in almost 8 months. Despite sitting down when I could, my leg hurts and is sore. I cannot walk properly which is putting more pressure on other areas and I am so slow. I have had a great day but I need the hardware out Asap. Just got to wait now. My original surgery was July 25th 2014 so I take heart from your post. Thank you for the encouragement. I wish you well on the final leg- no pun intended of course!
    Good wishes.
    Lesley

  • #6220 Reply

    Eileen

    Jim,

    My PT told me that if I strengthened the supporting muscles, my patella tendon would feel better…she was right! The other tendons are tighter and I can do more and more each week.

    Good healing,

    Eileen

  • #6267 Reply

    Chuck

    I’m so glad that the inrentet allows free info like this!

  • #6300 Reply

    Esteban

    Since there is so many fields of scpiealties that I have a choice of, I still really can’t choose one. So I am going base on my personal experiences. My original goal back in high school and maybe even before that, was to work in a Neonatal ICU! I had a brother that passed before he had his first birthday from heart complications, and that year I spent a lot of time at hospitals with my parents. My goal the first couple of years was to work with babies just like him. That was until I had my own children, I would of still loved to have worked in that career field but the heart ache I would most likely endure when one of those babies did not make it home. I could not have handled!On to more positive experiences, I have worked with the elderly and Geriatrics interests me very much. Being surrounded with people that have lived a fulfilled life is so much more rewarding. Even though at times it is the ending stages of their lives, and it is sad when someone does pass. It’s less of a heartache to know that most of the time they are ready to move on. They are still very dependent on you and when you are able to help them with their needs that’s the most rewarding of all, plus you form a special relationship with the patients and their families.

  • #110426 Reply

    shlomi
    Keymaster

    bump

  • #110428 Reply

    Miss C B MORRISON

    I had a tpf 3yrs ago, and it is now giving me considerable discomfort. I had an X-ray which uncovers arthritis in my knee and I may require a replacement in the future. If so, the plate would have to be removed. The bone has healed. Any views on this would be appreciated. I am just 70yrs.

  • #110435 Reply

    Marilyn

    I had my metal removed 2 years after my tfp. My accident is comming up to 3 years. All I can say it removal for me has resulted in the knee feeling week and it clicks constantly. I had an x-ray taken before the metalwork was removed that showed arthritis was an issue -poor alignment of the bone during initial surgery has not help either! I am 67yrs. My knee is stiff all the time just as it was before metal removal. I should add I go to the gym most days, do aqua aerobics twice a week and have a personal trainer session weekly. I have been told I will need a knee replacement, and that they are never as sucessfull after tfp damage.

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