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Removal of plate and screws in leg

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am considering having surgery to remove the plate and six screws placed in my left leg 2+ years ago after a fall causing a compression fracture. The surgeon says this is pretty straight forward since the plate is just below the skin (not under muscle), and I should be on crutches for only six weeks. I am experienicing pain, especially during the cold, damp spells. My questions to anyone who has had the surgery - do you feel the surgery was worth going through? Did you expiernce relief from pain after the surgery? Is there any question(s) I should be asking the surgeon prior to the surgery? Thanks!
post #2 of 5
Kate, I broke my leg while sking just above my ankle about 6-7 years ago. It was the smaller of the 2 bones in the lower part of the leg. Forget the name of it. I had surgery where they put screws and plate to hold it. Since I didn't plan on quiting sking, I had the screws and plate removed. I was afraid the screws and plate would really mess me up if I left them in and had another accident involving that leg. The removal surgery was easier than the original. Very little pain post op. Would do the same thing again no question.
post #3 of 5
Kate, just remembered, no crutches needed. Leg was healed and able to bear weight with or w/out the screws and plate.
post #4 of 5
If the bone is fully healed, the removal should not require crutches for more than a day or two at most. There might be special conditions that the doc might be concerned but I suspect they are being very cautious. I had a femoral nail removed in June, 1 year after a femor break. I had crutches for the day to get me home and left them at the bottom of my stairs and never looked back. I used a walking stick for about 3 days and was back to full weight bearing about the same time. (3 days) 1 week post op my ortho released me for full activity. no restrictions.

For you, 2 years post op, the removal should be quite easy if you are already active the relief should be almost immediate. Listen to your ortho and listen to your body but I suspect he/she is being very cautious with their statements.

post #5 of 5
I know the question wasn't directed at me; I still have a couple of screws in my wrist, which acts as a weather barometer. However, I just want to say that from the description, the post-operative pain would be minimal and that though the six weeks is probably an overestimate, what he is likely concerned about is that the plate has been taking much of the load, and in order to build bone density the bone has to be stressed. I'm guessing he just wants you to build up the bone without the plate for a month and a half before you over-stress it.
Go for it!
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