Removal of plate and screws from tibia fracture

Posted by tc125 @tc125, Oct 30, 2018

Hello, I broke my tibia in April 2018 and had surgery to insert a plate and 9 screws. I have pain walking every day all day. The surgeon has recommended having the plate/screws removed. I am reluctant to do it because the surgeon said he can't guarantee the pain will be gone. I'm not sure if it would be worth it to have incisions, remove screws, slide the plate out, have anesthesia and get stitched back up. I was wondering if anyone has experienced this type of surgery and if so, was it worth it.

Liked by Dee, TERESA LOGAN

Hi,

I broke my fibula when I was five months pregnant. It was a spiral fracture so I needed surgery to reduce the fracrure by having a plate and pins. After my daughter was born, the swelling went down but I was still experiencing pain. The orthopedist removed the hardwarea year later and the pain disappeared. Good luck to you.

Liked by lioness

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My son broke his tibia and fibiula and screws in ankle to for fracture and his other foot fracture in his heal so he was in to long casts for months and two surgerys on his right leg first one was to place rods and scews on the out side but that did not work so they did a second surgery put screws in his ankle and plates in his tibia and fibula he is in constant pain and walks cruked and not right he fell off the roof hes only 25 yrs old and he can not stand to long do to the pressure and pain some times after going to a event he can not walk the next day i'm getting him another oppion he has been therapy and says its from otheritus and he will like this for life… this makes me sad … i want him to have a full fill life and hes limited to this pain… i can not drive do to he can not move his foot to well. Yes i have ask them if he can have all the hard ware out but they said he will still have problems…

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@mareanne

My son broke his tibia and fibiula and screws in ankle to for fracture and his other foot fracture in his heal so he was in to long casts for months and two surgerys on his right leg first one was to place rods and scews on the out side but that did not work so they did a second surgery put screws in his ankle and plates in his tibia and fibula he is in constant pain and walks cruked and not right he fell off the roof hes only 25 yrs old and he can not stand to long do to the pressure and pain some times after going to a event he can not walk the next day i'm getting him another oppion he has been therapy and says its from otheritus and he will like this for life… this makes me sad … i want him to have a full fill life and hes limited to this pain… i can not drive do to he can not move his foot to well. Yes i have ask them if he can have all the hard ware out but they said he will still have problems…

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Hello @mareanne. Has there been any progress in your son's ankle/leg? If you don't mind me asking, how long ago did he fall? Sometimes ankle issues take a really long time to heal and to find your ankles "new normal." While I did not break my ankle, I have had my ankle fused because of severe end-stage arthritis that started when I was 10-years-old. The recovery was brutal: it was painful, long, and hard. However, I am now fully recovered and pain free, however, my mobility is severely limited so I cannot run anymore. But, I have spent my entire life adapting to joint issues and have found ways to stay active. There are always ways to adapt, which is hard to see when you are in the thick of the pain and recovery.

Liked by lioness

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I had repair for a displaced tibial plateau fracture in Aug 2018….6 months ago. the repair was done quickly (2 days later) because it happened on my knee with a 9-mo old medial knee replacement. I did my time of non-weight bearing (90 days) and am still enduring physical therapy….tough to re-awaken those muscles after they begin to atrophy. My question, however, is about the leg shape. My leg, at the knee, is approx. 5 degrees off from straight outward from my body. In other words, when my knees meet, my feet do not. When I put my feet together in a standing position, one knee MUST be in front of the other. It is throwing off the rest of my body, since I'm out of alignment. Most of us can handle a little of this, but I have arthritis over all of my body (osteo) and I have been able to continue to more regularly, but this is causing major issues with my feet, my hips, my lower back. Really irritating! My main question is this: is this normal? Is this something I just have to live with? Do others have this same issue?

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@pthielen5923

I had repair for a displaced tibial plateau fracture in Aug 2018….6 months ago. the repair was done quickly (2 days later) because it happened on my knee with a 9-mo old medial knee replacement. I did my time of non-weight bearing (90 days) and am still enduring physical therapy….tough to re-awaken those muscles after they begin to atrophy. My question, however, is about the leg shape. My leg, at the knee, is approx. 5 degrees off from straight outward from my body. In other words, when my knees meet, my feet do not. When I put my feet together in a standing position, one knee MUST be in front of the other. It is throwing off the rest of my body, since I'm out of alignment. Most of us can handle a little of this, but I have arthritis over all of my body (osteo) and I have been able to continue to more regularly, but this is causing major issues with my feet, my hips, my lower back. Really irritating! My main question is this: is this normal? Is this something I just have to live with? Do others have this same issue?

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Hello @pthielen5923. I combined your discussion on tibial fractures with another discussion on the same topic. I @tc125, @bernese53, and @mareanne will rejoin the discussion to share their experience with tibial fractures with you. I can personally relate to your frustrations with gait and shape change, although mine is from a different cause. I have also had my knee replaced on my right side, and recently have had my left ankle fused, which really changed the way I walk. Since my ankle joint does not hinge anymore, I have noticed the knee on that side occasionally gets hyperextended and sore, as well as my hips at times because of the change, so i can relate on the gait changing affecting other body parts.

@pthielen5923, if you don't mind me asking, what has your medical provider or surgeon said about your alignment and movement?

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@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @pthielen5923. I combined your discussion on tibial fractures with another discussion on the same topic. I @tc125, @bernese53, and @mareanne will rejoin the discussion to share their experience with tibial fractures with you. I can personally relate to your frustrations with gait and shape change, although mine is from a different cause. I have also had my knee replaced on my right side, and recently have had my left ankle fused, which really changed the way I walk. Since my ankle joint does not hinge anymore, I have noticed the knee on that side occasionally gets hyperextended and sore, as well as my hips at times because of the change, so i can relate on the gait changing affecting other body parts.

@pthielen5923, if you don't mind me asking, what has your medical provider or surgeon said about your alignment and movement?

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A little quiet….which is why I'm asking here.

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I would ask the Physical Therapist you are seeing to give your some insight. You may have lost some height on one side of the tibia from the fracture. Hard to say without seeing it. But the PT should be able to tell you.

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@jaybergerpt

I would ask the Physical Therapist you are seeing to give your some insight. You may have lost some height on one side of the tibia from the fracture. Hard to say without seeing it. But the PT should be able to tell you.

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PT is very helpful, but ran a search on this type of repair and possible outcomes. It was not found that this type of repair would result in a Q angle of my knee….which is what has happened. I am now looking at a full knee replacement 2-3 years after the partial, and that sucks. This is why I was reaching out to see if this was a normal, or at least a possible, outcome. By the way, the tibial plateau fracture was from a simple twisting break, not traumatic car accident that may have caused miss-alignment.

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Today marks one year since my fracture occurred. I had fixation surgery with a plate and seven screws. 3 months ago I had the hardware removed due to screws rubbing on tendons. I still save pain everyday. My knee feels like it wants to explode. I am currently on my second round of six week PT. Very discouraged. Anyone have these problems?

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Hi @suemofl and welcome to Connect! You may have noticed I moved your discussion to this existing discussion on tibial fractures so that you can connect with others who have similar experiences. Simply click VIEW & REPLY on your email notification to find your post.

That must be so awful that you have pain everyday three months after you had the hardware removed.

I wanted to tag fellow Connect members @tc125, @bernese53, and @mareanne as well as @pthielen5923 as they have experience with tibial fractures and may be able to offer you support.

Back to you @suemofl does your doctor say the fracture has healed completely?

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I DID HAVE A PLATE AND SCREWS REMOVED FROM A FRACTURE ON MY UPPER RIGHT 🦵 LEG BECAUSE OF PAIN. IT WORKED FOR ME.TERESA

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Hello,
I had a PAO with a femoral derotation on both legs. I have 18 screws and a plate all together. After I finished with my rehab i still had some pain. I decided to remove the screws in my pelvis and the pain went away. I left the screws and plate in my femur because i dont want them to go through all those muscles. If it is giving you a lot of pain it might be worth it but it is a tough call. It did work for me though.

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@bernese53

Hi,

I broke my fibula when I was five months pregnant. It was a spiral fracture so I needed surgery to reduce the fracrure by having a plate and pins. After my daughter was born, the swelling went down but I was still experiencing pain. The orthopedist removed the hardwarea year later and the pain disappeared. Good luck to you.

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Hi, That is good to hear. Since my last post, I did have the hardware and screws removed. I am happy to say that pain is gone. I had my surgery 2 weeks ago to remove the hardware so I am feeling the affects of that. I hope it doesn't last long.

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@sportsgirl2330

Hello,
I had a PAO with a femoral derotation on both legs. I have 18 screws and a plate all together. After I finished with my rehab i still had some pain. I decided to remove the screws in my pelvis and the pain went away. I left the screws and plate in my femur because i dont want them to go through all those muscles. If it is giving you a lot of pain it might be worth it but it is a tough call. It did work for me though.

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Hello, Thanks for your response. I did have the hardware/screws removed. The pain I had is gone but now just have to deal with the after surgery conditions. I'm glad your surgery went well.

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@quiteachiver75

I DID HAVE A PLATE AND SCREWS REMOVED FROM A FRACTURE ON MY UPPER RIGHT 🦵 LEG BECAUSE OF PAIN. IT WORKED FOR ME.TERESA

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That is great to hear. Glad it worked for you. I had mine removed two weeks ago and the pain is gone. Just have to recover from this surgery. Two surgeries in 1 year is enough for me.

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