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Old 08-01-2010, 11:36 AM   #1
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Default surgery involving plates and screws

so recently i got into an accident which led to the surgery room and 2 plates and 10 screws to hold my elbow and upper arm together. now the doctors are telling me i should get them removed after a while, but i see no point. if it doesnt affect my health then why would i go under the knife again, risk a 20% unsuccessful surgery rate, and pay a ridiculous amount of money to get these things out. i just want to know if anyone has had plates and screws lodged inside of their bodies, or if anyone knows someone who has. what are the pros/cons of leaving them in and does it ever get uncomfortable?
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

Usually they are permanent, unless its an external fixator.
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

I had a plate and 5 screws in my femur, once they are healed it actually makes the bones weaker than if they were out. And mine did get a little uncomfortable. I got them out after 2 or 3 years and love it, feels stronger and a lot more comfortable.
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

is it proven to make your bones weaker if you leave them in? i've actually heard it doesn't affect your bones/muscles in any negative way. im also worried that if i do take them out, the recovery process is going to be a bitch. ive been out of work and a job for a while due to trying to heal. i dont know if i want to go through it again
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

It is a foreign body, your body could end up rejecting it and cause minor to major issues. My ankle will probably remain with a plate unless it turns out that my body rejects it. My doctor said it was totally up to me with what I wanted to do. If it bothers you in a few years get it out, if not then leave it in.
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

I remember when I was in the hospital, one of the infantry guys had screws in his ankle.

One day he was complaining about a slight pain in his foot. A few days after that he had a small lump in his skin.

He went to talk to his doctor and they cut it open. His body was forcing the screw out.
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

keep metal in body
tell bitches about foreign material in your body
profit?
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

I have a couple screws in my foot. There were more but they were removed in a second surgery. If they don't bother you, I'd leave them be.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

I'm not sure exactly how they fasten the bone together, but it makes sense that it would make it weaker. If you have a quarter inch screw going through a bone...that's a quarter inch less bone you have (to put it simply). Your effectively have a quarter inch thinner structural member. Then there's the stress concentration that it induces.

Someone straighten me out here if I'm talking out of my ***....

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Old 08-01-2010, 02:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

dont forget to mention you have metal in you before having an mri done
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

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dont forget to mention you have metal in you before having an mri done
Most hardware used is titanium or stainless steel. Non-magnetic stuff.
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

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Most hardware used is titanium or stainless steel. Non-magnetic stuff.
yeah mine was ss. nothing to worry about lol. i actually heard the metal can actually make your bones stronger when you heal. something about the combination of bone healing and fusing with the metal..?
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

I would listen to the doctors. If you are really unsure consult a few doctors and see what the others say.
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

caused by:

Click the image to open in full size.

My surgeon had planned to leave them in, unless I wanted them taken out. It was put in to help it heal, but after it healed, it wasn't necessary. I tried to join the Army, but they wouldn't take me unless I had the hardware removed, so I had it taken out.

It was weird having the metal in my ankle and overall, I'm glad I had it taken out. Do you really want that in you the rest of your life?

And now I do:

Click the image to open in full size.

and am good as new!
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

honestly, i wouldnt mind leaving it in. exactly how heavy/sturdy is the plate?
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:15 PM   #16
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

I've had a plate in my left arm for 13 years... no big deal.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

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Broken Tibia? I have a similar scar on my leg.

I spiral fractured my right Tibia and tore the ligaments around the ankle. They put a 4" plate and 4 screws in it. They also did a large screw to tie the Tibia into the Fibula while it initially healed. 4 months after the 1st surgery they had me come back in and take the screw that tied the 2 bones together out. I haven't felt any additional discomfort or had any issues with the plate and screws at all. I really don't notice them. Unless the doc says you need to take them out I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:45 AM   #18
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

I've had screws and a shaft in my shoulder since 2003.... my neck/shoulder hurts a little when it gets cloudy outside. Also if I sleep funny it bothers me. It actually bothers me everyday but not so much painful as it is more of a stiffness in the muscles around there. I don't think that has anything to do with the screws, but mostly how everything healed.... it was a pretty gnarly accident, they thought I was gonna be paralyzed.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:11 AM   #19
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

Good as new.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:05 AM   #20
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

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Originally Posted by Jsl222 View Post
yeah mine was ss. nothing to worry about lol. i actually heard the metal can actually make your bones stronger when you heal. something about the combination of bone healing and fusing with the metal..?
Maybe X-Men isn't the most reliable source for medical knowledge.
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:15 AM   #21
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

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so recently i got into an accident which led to the surgery room and 2 plates and 10 screws to hold my elbow and upper arm together. now the doctors are telling me i should get them removed after a while, but i see no point. if it doesnt affect my health then why would i go under the knife again, risk a 20% unsuccessful surgery rate, and pay a ridiculous amount of money to get these things out. i just want to know if anyone has had plates and screws lodged inside of their bodies, or if anyone knows someone who has. what are the pros/cons of leaving them in and does it ever get uncomfortable?
I had a fractured patella from a car accident a few years back and I have a couple of screws in my knee. The Dr. said that I could take them out later but it wasn't necessary. I do however get a lot of pain in my knee when it's going to rain or when it's cold. I'm not sure if that's because of the screws or not.

I do want to get them taken out someday but I don't want to go through the physical therapy again
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:23 AM   #22
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

How about you do what your doctor says. He's had 150,000 years of schooling so he probably knows what's best for you vs. a bunch of idiots on the internet.
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:49 AM   #23
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

I am a doctor. I have no idea where you got a 20% unsuccessful surgery rate from. If that number were true no one would be getting surgery. 1/5 is a failure. If your orthopedist recommends having them removed then I would do it.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:05 AM   #24
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

Ive had 2 plates and 8 screws in my shoulder for 12 years, and a golf ball sized Ti plate with 6 screws in my head for 8 years with no major problems. They said that the ones in my shoulder could come out if they cause problems but ive never even noticed they were there...and this is with 10 years of grappling and other forms of Martial Arts during that time. The one in my head will stay there forever since its basically holding a part of my skull together. I do notice that one all the time. I have bumps where the screws are and it hurts when im drying my hair, and standing in front of a microwave creates a weird sensation that isnt really possible to describe lol

Just do whatever your doctor recommends.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:28 PM   #25
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Default Re: surgery involving plates and screws

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Maybe X-Men isn't the most reliable source for medical knowledge.
lol just heard it from asking ppl with similar surgeries and what theyve experienced.

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I am a doctor. I have no idea where you got a 20% unsuccessful surgery rate from. If that number were true no one would be getting surgery. 1/5 is a failure. If your orthopedist recommends having them removed then I would do it.
being a doc, you should know that all surgeries have an unsuccessful rate...from anything simple to something extreme..also heard this from other ppl ive asked. they say some docs recommend to take the hardware out but when consulting other doctors, they were told that taking the plates and screws out werent necessary.
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