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Broken Ankle Screw and Plate Removal Surgery: Yes or No?

Broken Ankle Screw and Plate Removal: Is It a Good Idea?

I broke my ankle in 2007. I wrote an article about the experience, which you can find in my profile if you are interested. When I first broke my ankle, I asked the orthopedic surgeon if I needed to have the plate and screws removed. He said it was up to me. The physical therapist told me it was a good idea to have them removed because as you get older, they will cause pain and arthritis. I have been putting off making a decision because, let's face it—who wants to go through another surgery? I decided to do some research to help me make my decision. Read on to learn what I found out.

What I Learned

I read that, in some cases, when screws were left in the leg, one or two wormed their way out and started poking through the skin.

Some people leave in the hardware, then years later, the metal messes up the bones, causing problems.

Here is one story in which that happened: A friend broke his ankle and left the hardware there. Ten years after the injury, he decided to get it removed because it was causing him problems. Now, he is over 50 years old and can barely walk a mile. He said that the screws did eventually mess up his bones and wishes that he got it removed when he was younger.

I also read that leaving the hardware in actually weakens your bone because the screws break up the bone's mass. The bone can rely on them too much, potentially preventing the bone from growing as strong as it could. I've read this on different websites, so I don't know any of this for fact—just learning from others.

Then I read many stories of people who leave in the hardware and don't have pain or any problems. However, how long has it been? Will they stay problem free? This is what worries me. I don't want to wait and then have problems after the damage is done or when I am older and will have a harder time healing.

I think that if I had pain or irritation in the area of my plate and screws, I would have them removed. It would be an easy decision. I am not having any problems, so even though some sites recommend having them removed, it's very hard for me to make that decision. I do not feel like going through the pain of the surgery. However, most sites seem to recommend it. So I feel I should talk to a doctor about having them removed. What do you all think? I added a discussion module below so that hopefully I can get some help from others.

Should I Have My Plate and Screws Remove?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

Have You Had Your Plate or Screws Removed? Do You Think You Will? What Did Your Doctor Tell You? Do They Cause You Pain? Why Leave Them? Why Have Them Removed? 313 comments

dawnsantiquesan profile image

dawnsantiquesan 4 years ago Author

I am posting this as a test to see if i works ok. I hope someone has a story to share or is having the same concerns as I am. I noticed so much lately that my ankle hurts a lot during bad weather. How about you? Is anyone else experiencing this.


anonymous 4 years ago

Hi i just had my hardware removed 3months ago, 1plate with 7 screws and 3 longer screws. Iwas finding my job (gardening and landscaping) causing me a bit of pain the next day, especially after walking on uneasy surfaces. It was a big decision to make as i could not bring myself to scedual down time for recovery. I spoke several times with my surgon and thought about it for a year, now im glad i did it. still feels quite week and i can't do any high impact sport but i couldve done that with them in anyway. Quite tender still and i have to put it up after a big day but overall is healing well. Will keep u posted on the progress if u like.


dawnsantiquesan profile image

dawnsantiquesan 4 years ago Author

@anonymous: Thanks so much for posting. I am very interested to hear your progress. If you don't mind me asking what made you decide to have them removed? I feel like I should have mine removed but like you said big decision and who has time to rest and heal. Its different when its not by choice.


anonymous 4 years ago

I too would like to know if anyone has left them in and have not had problems. I wish we were given the statistics on the pain and problems of leaving them in or taking them out. That would probably help a lot of people with the plate and 7 screws. I havn't walked in 4 going on 5 months now. I don't want to go through this again if i don't have too. It's super depressing...especially with a 4 year old and a 4 month old :(


dawnsantiquesan profile image

dawnsantiquesan 4 years ago Author

Crystal,

Wow that must be hard with the 4 year old and 4 month old. My youngest was 8 at the time. I think every doctor gives different advice too. I am finding some say leave them in if you aren't having problems and some say have them removed. I would like to leave well enough alone but don't want major ploblems later down the road. I was hoping if others had problems they would share what they were and how long after their beak did it start.


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: Yes please keep us posted thanks â¥


anonymous 4 years ago

I had ankle surgery in 2008. A plate and 8 screws, one of the screws two inches long on the inside ankle bone. The rest on the outside bone of ankle. That was a difficult surgery as I had two toddlers and the recovery wasn't quick. Physical therapy was key. My therapist made sure that my "gait" was completely normal by the time we were finished. If you are still walking w/a limp after 5 or 6 months, please see a therapist. I just had the hardware removed two days ago. This surgery was a cinch compared to the first one! I was under general anesthetic. Surgery was fast and I didn't have a nerve block done for pain (as I had in the first surgery). I am in some discomfort/slight pain from the incisions, but not too bad. Am trying to go light on the pain meds they gave me b/c I don't like feeling loopy. All in all...sooo glad I had the operation. I never had terrible pain from the plates and screws but unusual foot cramps and soreness after any strenuous exercise. I didn't want to risk getting bad artheritis from leaving the metal in. I was worried about this second surgery, but now am so thankful I had it done. Will probably walk tenderly for about 2 weeks, but two days later am already feeling better. I'd say "go for it"! Especially if it is bothering you:) God bless you!


anonymous 4 years ago

I sustained a 'tri potts fracture' in my ankle 25 years ago but chose not to have the hardware removed. I can feel the metal just under the skin; it gives me a little pain but not much


anonymous 4 years ago

Just had Removal of small screws with plate on outside ankle bone & one large screw on inside ankle bone this morning. Feeling fine. haven't had to take pain pills yet. I believe the trick is keeping it elevated so it doesn't swell. Tomorrow might be different. usually the day after with any trauma is the worst. I just want to baby it so it goes away fast. I am scheduled to work in 3 days & I stand all day.Yikes!


waterandearth profile image

waterandearth 4 years ago

i fell 3 stories and shattered both heels, the right tibia and right femur. they placed 2 plated and screws in my right ankle, a long bar inside my femur with a locking screw and a blade in my hip attached to the rod. so far they have removed the femoral locking screw and the rest of the harware from my femur and hip. the 1st removal was the screw. the difference was night and day. i was in so much pain beofre- it was stabbing me from the inside. it felt like it was tearing my muscles apart. the DAY AFTER the surgery- even with stiches, etc i felt like a million bucks.... in that area anyway. i just had the femoral hardware removed 2 weeks ago and now i can lay on my right side, i can lift my left leg without using my hand as a support.... i don't understand why they do these things. i would have rather had some sort of crazy external fixation if possible so they didn't have to keep going back in. this last surgery was my 6th of 2012. i'm looking at 2 more... 1 to remove the massive amount of hardware in my right ankle and another because they missed a fracture in my left foot- don't even know what bone it is or what it's called- and now there is a rare non union that needs to be- guess what? repaired with a plate. if you ask me.... you are always better off without the metal in your body. all it has done is cause me pain.


anonymous 4 years ago

@dawnsantiquesan: I broke my ankle April,2011. I am going in November 2 to have the plate and screws removed. This site has helped me make the final decision, I kept going back and forth on whether to do it or not. It's not painful, but constantly uncomfortable and bad weather it gets pretty sore. If I wear any kind of a shoe with a heel, it gets sore so I stay in more comfortable and supportive fit-flops (which I would recommend to anyone recovering from a break). I walk 4 miles a day and that is the hardest thing to have to give up and I am concerned how long it will be before I am able to get back to that. I know it won't be as long as the initial injury for sure.. I am hoping within 3 weeks to start working back up to the 4 miles. I am 61 and in great health, so will continue to think positive. I'm glad I was able to find this site to help feel more comfortable with my decision.


anonymous 4 years ago

I am looking for advice on whether to have the plates and screws removed. I broke my ankle in 3 places in January 2010 and now have 2 plates and 16 screws. What bothers me the most is that I still have a lot of bruising all along the two 6 inch incisions, now healed, along the side and front of my leg. The bruising is still painful if anything presses against it, but my doctor says that is to be expected since I am very fair-skinned. I would like to know if anyone else still have this type of bruising after almost 2 years and if removal of the plates and screws might enable the bruising to finally heal. If so, that would definitely be a factor in deciding whether to have the hardware removed. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


anonymous 4 years ago

I am 48 yrs. old. I had broke my ankle bone on June 2012. I had surgery early July 2012. I am thinking of having mine removed. I have had one incident that lasted one day the screws came out farther than usual my skin looked tight.What do you think ?


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: Its like living in hell with the screws and plate in i can feel 3 of the 7 screws


anonymous 4 years ago

where did you get this information from?


anonymous 4 years ago

I had a pioln fracture a year ago and have arthritis and swelling. I have been on Arava for the arthritis and the pain has improved tremndously but the swelling has not and I have limited flexibilty in my ankle. My rheumatlogist says the swelling is from the hardware and I should have it removed. One surgeon told me I would have more flexibility and another told me I would not but the pain would be less.

I'm pretty sure I am going to have it removed but I'm just waiting for a good time. I'd love to hear from anyone about recovery time.


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: I am 52 years old and six days post op. Broke my ankle in three places and severely dislocated it last Sunday. Had a metal plate and seven screws put in Monday night. I cannot stand the pain even with the Percocette and can't sleep . I know this is temporary, but please...can someone tell me roughly when i will have some relief?


anonymous 4 years ago

I broke my foot in June of 2012 , I had both ankle bones to come outside. had nine breaks in all. I am taking therapy 3 days a week. i AM on a walker and still in my wheelchair if I have to go a along distance. I would love to have these screws and plate took out .They bother me so bad. but at my age of 66 and my bones are not the best I am undecided . IN fact the bones are not healed yet on the right side of the ankle


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: Hi jane, I did the same back in july and I am still in pain, however it does get better! I am having the screws removed next friday and can't wait as that is what gives me the most pain! Keep your spirits up and I hope you have a good support network x


anonymous 4 years ago

I got ran over 4 years ago and i had to have 2 ops on my left foot and i had a wire and 3 screws put in, 3 months after it happened i had the wire taken out but the screws remained. I just started playing football again around a year ago and my foot hurts after matches and when i touch 1 of the screws its really sensitive, i'm not sure what to do because if the screws get removed i won't be able to work or play football for a while so i'm in the same boat :(.....but i think i'm going to have mine out if i can because i can see it becoming a problem in the future when i walk a long way my foot can also hurt as well.


anonymous 4 years ago

I just had my hardware removed (1 plate and 8 screws) 3 days ago and am going in today to get leg checked out to see if it was infection or just irritation that was causing pain. They cultured the hardware after they were removed.

I had dislocated my ankle and broke leg in 3 places in April 2012. Pain now? Hell no! I have to remember I am only allowed "Toe Touch" and no weight on bad leg and is hard not to when there is no pain. Even the painless annoyances from before the acute pain are gone.

I have 6 weeks of crutches and after that I have no idea yet. I see the surgeon on the 15th to see how it goes.


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: Debbie, i was searching hardware removal and came across your post. i had a trimal fracture of my ankle and have a plate with 8 pins in my fib and 2 screws in my tib. I still after a year have bad brusing along my suture sites and also swelling and pain along the sites. I am also very fair skinned but this brusing is just too much. so much discomfort every day. which is why i am searching "hardware removal" its confusing whether to take out the titanium bar or just take out the screws. doctor didn't seem to want me to ever take out the titanium. good luck to you


anonymous 4 years ago

Hey I broke my ankle and tore all my ligaments about 10 years ago. Last Friday I came home from work my ankle was swollen. I went to the er they stuck a needle in it and drained it. They told me to see an orthopedic on Monday which I did. He said I needed to have surgery and have the hardware removed. I had the surgery this past Friday and I am so uncomfortable and in a lot of pain. I tried to stand on my foot twice and the pain was unbearable. Just curious if anyone else had this surgery and how long did it take you to get back on your feet again? Please let me know. Thanks. Oh by the way if I could go back ten years ago I would of fit the hardware out then when they suggested it.


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: I had surgery 8 weeks ago. My pain from the ankle lasted a couple of weeks but I'm still reeling with a lot of numbness and nerve damage. I go to the doctor tomorrow for exray. Doc said I prob won't walk till Christmas. I had 2 plates and 5 screws in my ankle and screws in my fibia. Good luck


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: i used tylenol 3 when i broke my ankle bones inside and out and had 2 plates and 4 pins put in 2 years ago. the T3 worked very well. now my ankle hurts and i'm researching removing them.


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: I am not fair skinned and have bruising after one year, just saw the Doctor and he said with the ankle still having pain , swelling and bruising, it is best to take out everything.


anonymous 4 years ago

Had the plate and 5 screws removed this past Thursday from my ankle. Minimal pain, was dancing for several hours on Saturday. Swelled up but I could still walk on it. Trick is to keep moving it, when it gets stiff that when it hurts. Also keep off the pain killers, just use stuff for swelling.


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: wtf is wrong with your surgeons? I have 9 screws and a plate on my fibula... after 2 months im back at the gym running and doing my normal routine...


anonymous 4 years ago

@dawnsantiquesan: I am having that problem in the cold weather which is what led me to this site. I broke my ankle in 2006 and have a plate and 6 screws in my fibula. Two of the screws are very close to the surface of the skin and any pressure is very painful (no more snow skiing because I can't stand the pressure from the boot). In the cold weather I have been having sharp shooting pain the area of the plate. I had not at all considered having the hardware removed to this point because I can't afford the down time - it is my right ankle, so I can't drive which is not workable in my life right now. I am 42 and very active and just lost 20 lbs with 15 more to go. I just injured the foot on that side and will be going back to the doctor in a couple weeks for a follow up. After reading what some have to say here, I am going to ask about the pros and cons of removing the hardware. I seem to remember the surgeon saying it was a bad idea because the bone would be compromised because of the holes left behind. I'll let you know what the doctor says.


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: I broke my ankle in Mar 2012, so its been 8 mo. bone healed right away but my ankle aches a lot. Thinking about having the plate and screws removed.

Are you pain free now? How long after removal could you tell the difference in pain?


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: Denise Nov. 29 2012 @ 10:56

I had ankle surgery 4 weeks ago, a 3 inch plate a long with 3 pens and am no longer in pain. Unfortunately the plate is causing me pain with the boot I am wearing. I also am looking into going back into surgery to have them removed once the healing process is complete. I have been seeing a Kinesiologist and when I told him about my fall he placed me on herbs which has minimized the bruising and advanced healing for the legaments, bones, swelling ect....Also, began electro stem for advanced healing, swelling and mobility. Will see the Kinesiologist next week to find out what he suggests.


anonymous 4 years ago

I'm having really bad pains and I now have a lump at the top where my plate is it feels like it is locking up and its hard to walk some times should I get 9 screws and the plate removed? I also have two screws in my ankel.


anonymous 4 years ago

I broke by tibia and fibula just above the ankle in 2004. I have 2 plates and about 15 screws. It has caused me untold trouble. Numbness, aches, pains. It keeps me awake at night it hurts so bad. I wish I had it taken out years ago. The older I get, the worse it is. I'm 66. Get yours out as soon as you can. It gets worse.


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: PS. I'm getting all the hardware out later this month. I can't wait.


anonymous 4 years ago

I had my ankle plate removed about 5 weeks ago and it does feel much better (even though I wasn't having pain in the joint) It's more than 2 years since the original break and I waited over a year for the op to remove the hardware --a plate and about 12 screws. I live in Southern Spain and this was all done on the health service (at no cost ) I had no problems after the op--crutches as necessary and I was driving within a couple of days, staples removed at 12 days -review and discharge after 4 weeks. My ankle is definitely feeling better and is thinner!! Pity it wasn't done last year --the Spanish health system not the most efficient in Europe!!


dawnsantiquesan profile image

dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

I am so glad I wrote this lens. All of your feedback is helping so much. I was wondering since its been years since my break and I no longer see the surgeon if I decide to have my screws out do I just call and tell them that's what I want? I don't have pain all the time its just once in a while so not sure they will even do it. The surgeon said leave them in unless I was having problems. I just dread going through another surgery.

John,

Don't forget to come back and let us know how the surgery goes. Thanks so much I think your right because the longer they are in the more frequent the bad days are.

Annied,

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. It helps to know what its will be like.

Staci,

It sounds like something is not right. Please go to doctors and let us know what they say. With the lump forming they may tell not give you a choice about having the hardware removed. Good luck and let us know what happens.

Rebecca,

I hope by now you are much better. Thanks so much for sharing your story and please let me know how you are doing now that you got the hardware removed.


anonymous 3 years ago

hi i had a (orif)and a bone graft in feb 2012 none weight bearing for 16wks 2 plates 12 screws later and i am still in pain.Walk with a stick have an open would were one of the screws is and still they wont remove it because of the bone graft.Reading all these stories there may be hope for me yet i am just fed up with being in pain all the time.I just want it all removed and to be pain free but i don't think that it is ready to be removed because of the bone graft and its not been a year since i had surgery unless you no different.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: My situation is very similar. I have a plate & 20 screws in my lower leg~tibia. I have so much pain sometimes and sharp electric shock like pains in my ankle near the plate. I'm scared to death to have the hardware removed. I was non weight bearing for 6 months and was out of work for 11 months. So scared my bones would break again with out the plate. Don't know what to do. :(


anonymous 3 years ago

i have surgery after i break my ankle on july 2012 with 1 plate and 5 screws 2 of them are break i am so scare i don't know what to do. i like to know wy they break so early?


anonymous 3 years ago

i am Jean i break my ankle on june 30th and have surgery 2 days later i got off the hospital with 1 plate and 5 screws 2 of them already breaks my doctor tells me he will not remove any one of them. i am so scare i don't know what to do. i like some body help me email me man3112009@hotmail.com


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Jane,

I broke mine the exact same and also dislocated in June of this year, I'm finally doing better after 5 long months. I still have discomfort in my arche after long walks. I do bike everyday at least 5 miles. I encourage you to stay true to therapy when you start. Good luck!


anonymous 3 years ago

I am in hospital right now. (Thrs 13th Dec '12)

I broke some of my fibia (ancle) 2 days ago.

I am waiting for an operation on Saturday (15th Dec '12). The surgeon said that I need a couple of titanium screws etc.

I am thinking that I may be OK without having an operation....I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO?

I've been told I'll be in pot for 8 weeks after the op.

I a clean fracture.

I'd love to discharge myself and take a chance that it will heal without having the operation.

Also my insurance policy only covers the cost of the surgery, i will have to pay for titanium screws etc, I do not know how expensive these will be.

Anyone know of anyone who has decided not to have an operation on a broken ancle and is walking fine monthe later?


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Update...after a cat scan this morning, the surgeon has just told me the my ankle is broken in 4 different places, so my thinking about doing away with the operation is now out unfortunately.

He said he will perform open and also keyhole surgery on Saturday, so here goes...


anonymous 3 years ago

Andrew i broke my ankle but was told i had tendernitis as he was the doctor that's what i thought i had.I maid sevaral visits back to the doctors and had injections in my foot but no one xrayed it and what happened to me my ankle collapsed inwards and reset in this position.I had a 4hour operation bone removed from my hip they rebroke my ankle 2 plates 12 screws packed the bone in the ankle to fill in gaps 11 days in hospital 16 wks none weight bearing and this.i walked on a broken ankle unone to me for 11wks so don't be darft you will make it worse i did not no mine was broken you do.Ihad the operation in feb12 and i still walk with a stick i don't think it will be ever right so if i had the chance you have then have the oppertion.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Thanks for your reply Janice.

Yes Janice you are totally right.

I'm sorry to hear of your awful ordeal.

I will of course now go ahead with my op on Saturday.

I was also thinking about money, because what I failed to mention is that I am in Spain at a hospital in Alicante and my private insurace policy only covers hospitalisation and surgery costs, but not the cost for any parts or liquids etc.

I have been quoted over 1000 euros (800 Pounds) for the titanium screws etc, so I was thinking about saving this expense. which lead me to this website to see if it was possible to heal with an operation. But I realise now that this would be foolish.

I'll keep folks updated.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hi I'm Toy I broke my ankle in three places a year ago in August I have one 4 inch plate and 9 screws here today I'm in so much pain 24/7. I don't know what I need to do . I can only walk so far and I'm in the most pain what should I do ??


anonymous 3 years ago

I fell at work in 2009 and broke my tibia and fibula. This resulted with a plate and 5 pins and one screw. A year later I went to the Doctor who did the surgery because of restricted motion and pain and asked hime to remove the hardware and he didn't want to do it. This year I asked my family Doctor for a referral. I had the hardware removed by a Doctor who listened to my concerns and pain issues. I went in for day surgery Dec 06/13 and was able to leave a few hrs after surgery with walking with a cane. Now 2 weeks later I feel great and wish I had of done this sooner. I am 61 years ols and I am a Diabetic. I can now pivot and move my ankle easily. I would say yes to anyone who asked, to get that hardware out within the next few years of your surgery


anonymous 3 years ago

hello i fractured my left ankle i also a tore a ligament. i had 10 screws in total, 8 little one's and two big one's with a side of a plate. my last orhto dr. recommended for me to have the big one's removed, because if i step they would brake and only half would come out and the other half would be impossible to remove. my new ortho dr. said to leave them in and if they brake they brake and oh wells (i suppose) .i don't want that shit to happen i just turned 21 this nov-3 and very interested paying for that surgery to be done. My question, that lead me to these sad stories.. is what happens if they do brake and are ignored what happens next to the other half of the screw? And by looks of it a lot of yous guys recommend it.


anonymous 3 years ago

hey could you tell me what the doctors said then , im facing the same problem , its been three years since my surgery but i really don't want to remove the screws and go through another surgery, kindly help me out here.


anonymous 3 years ago

I'm planning to leave all 10 screws & plate && when Sep-17-13 comes up I'm looking forward to removing them prior from surgery day..I heard it takes a year for the screws to come out themselves and will try to come out through your skin ;[ I'm nervous but continue to stretch & put gradually pressure as the ortho doctor told me to. My ankle stretch's more then it use to & feels better but aches, swells rarely. Only reason why my dr. told to walk on it is because my ligament has reached it's 13 week from recovery when the 12th week is the limit date & it needs to avoid from being stiff! on Jan-30-13 I'm going to therapy in USC L.A Hospital Great health belongs to you take it back


anonymous 3 years ago

I shattered my fibula and cracked the bottom of my Tibula...and my foot was on the left hand side of my leg. This all happened last November. I have a metal plate and 5 screws. Doctor said that I wont be able to remove it. I stand all day and walk a lot. But it gets stiff even after a short while of not mvoing it or sitting down. They didn't give me the option of what type of metal to put in my leg....steel or titanum. Or even what the difference is. He did tell me that my leg would never be the same size again. I wonder if this is because of the plate? I heard from a guy who makes the plates that they try to go back to their original shape...strait. I am in pain often. Some days are great. Most are not...and when the weather changes . I still don't have a lot of feeling where the plate is...or a few of my toes. It's been a year. I want to start jogging but...a bit to scared. Because it still doesn't feel right....


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi, I broke my ankle March 2012 falling off my wedge shoe!! 2 screws on the inside and 7 + plate on the outside later......hideous!!! Nov 2012a scan revealed that the srew heads on the inside are sitting on the main tendon. Two screws on the outside are protruding through my skin. My ankle is back to its normal size fortunately however, I have made the decision to have all of the metal work removed as I am in pain. Operation is Mon 14th Jan 2013. I can keep you posted if you like.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: yes. keep me posted.

I broke my ankle on September 9th and had one screw put in. I can't call it pain, but I think I want the screw removed, for some reason. so I'm going to look into this tomorrow morning.


anonymous 3 years ago

Fx right fibula a year and a half ago. Doctor tells me plate and screws should come out because of potential and likely complication of bone softening under the plate and thus more risk for fracture under the plate. I read so many seemingly contradictory information, and I am wondering if this doctor is more interested in making money than actually helping me. I am proceeding soon with surgery with the faith that he is giving me a sound recommendation and isn't overinflating risk of leaving hardware in. Any comments would be appreciated.


anonymous 3 years ago

I had the hardware removed 10 days ago after breaking my right Fibula January 8, 2012, and having 6 screws and a plate installed. The injury als resulted in tearing of the deltoid ligament. My ankle had shrunken down as small as it was able to get with that hardware in there, and you could feel and see the screws through my skin. I also had difficulty going down stairs because it always felt like something was catching. This is not to mention the weird skin discoloration around where the plate and screw sat.I had it x-rayed and the doctor said it had healed perfectly and there was no reason to leave the screws and plate in there irritating everything. It was a pretty easy operation all and all. I was under anesthesia, and all he did was make a small incision over the top of each screw, then pull it out. At the bottom, he made a slightly larger incision and slid the plate through. The only pain was from the flesh wound and the stitches. There was minor swelling and I stayed off my feet as much as possible for the first couple of days. After that it was mostly the pressure from the bandage that was painful. Gettingtitches out one week later made a big difference in my pain level. I am on my feet and back to work with only minor discomfort. I can FEEL that the metal is gone and it is a relief. I did not like having it in there.


anonymous 3 years ago

I broke my anke a year ago and had 8 screws and a plate put in. I just had them taken out a few days ago and I can tell a huge difference. The physical therapist I went to once my ankle healed after the first surgery said he broke his ankle years ago and had his hardware removed also. The only pain I had was from the incision, no bone pain at all. I was able to walk on it right away. I am an avid runner and my orotho said I can resume running in six weeks as apposed to the three months after the first surgery. I'm so glad I had the hardware removed!


anonymous 3 years ago

i have had a pin in my ankle for 11 years due to a break and a fracture , over the past two years maybe more i have had discomfort i play football and every time i run hard it feels like its sprained when i think its something to do with the pin itself, going to see a doctor tuesday about it, maybe concider removal depending on what the diagnosis is. thanks.


anonymous 3 years ago

I just home home from surgery yesterday, I lost balance and putting on my winter boots breaking my ankle, plate and 5 screws later. I see my Dr this Friday for the follow up. I will have better questions for him now after reading the posts. Good luck to everyone


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Awesome! did you have to be an another cast when you got your screws removed???? i want to get a cast scan to see my ligament is doing and find out if my 2big screws haven't broke yet. im gradually walking


dawnsantiquesan profile image

dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: Please let us know what the doctor says. I feel like I sometimes get swelling under my plate and it feels like plate is lifting away from bone. I have noticed its more frequent.


dawnsantiquesan profile image

dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: Good luck at the doctors and let us know what he says. I am curious if its becoming more common to have the screws removed.


dawnsantiquesan profile image

dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: Hi Jeanett

What made you decide to have the plate and screws removed? Did you ask your doctor if your ankle will be weaker without the screws and plate? Did he recommend the removal? Thanks for posting


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dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: EK,

Thanks so much for sharing your story. I am leaning more and more toward having the hardware removed. Its just not something I am looking forward to. I am having discomfort and it is becoming more and more frequent. Its good to hear that the recovery isn't so bad. Thanks so much.


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dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: Good luck with your surgery and please do keep us posted. Thanks Dawn


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dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: Dianne Parker,

Thanks so much for your advice. I still didn't have mine removed. I think I am leaning toward it though. I am a big procrastinator plus there never seems to be a good time to have it done. With four children there is always something going on. No time for me.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I had to kinda smile when I read your post, I go by the nickname Harleygurl5150...7 years ago I fell on the ice and majorly fractured my left ankle leaving me with a plate and 8 screws, I was put on two kinds of Morphine, Extended release and Immediate release for the break thru pain. Being an addict, and over time the Morphine doesn't work any longer due to your body getting used to it along with the addiction symptoms NOT because you abuse the medication, but because it is HIGHLY addictive and even when not in pain it needs to be taken otherwise the withdrawal symptoms kick in and it is hell to the Nth degree!! I was told it was a 50/50 chance that by removing the hardware, the pain would go away and I wouldn't have to rely on the Morphine. In February of 2012 I had the surgery, got my hardware removed, and stopped taking Morphine, which was hell!! That is a story in itself, I will tell the story if requested....Still to this day tho, I am still in the same pain I was before the removal, It constantly aches (worse in the cold) and no OTC pain reliever works. Due to being an addict I am real hesitant about going back to the Dr for a solution. Just as a disclaimer, I never abused my Morphine, It's something ahhmazzzing for an addict to be 100% sober and if your not an addict you may not understand....ANYWAY, so this is where I am at today, no better then I was before surgery,,,Just got a big scar worse then when I got the hardware put in, still in pain, but drug free! So that is my story,,,,Good Luck in whatever you feel is the best for you! I have pics of the hardware in my ankle, my ankle after surgery and my ankle now if interested. I can just talk forever lol


anonymous 3 years ago

if any of you are looking to getting disability you need to go to the ssi 1st then you get a referral to see a dr. to be entitled to it


anonymous 3 years ago

@dawnsantiquesan: I am having plate and screws out Monday, jan 14th.


kim-reginahoehn 3 years ago

@anonymous: I am 39 years old and got a compund fx of my tib/fib playing roller derby. This was October 2011. I have 2 plates and 20 screws and continue to skate and bicycle. I am a nurse on my feet all of the time. The key is.......stay active!!


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi I've had 9 surgical pins and a plate in my left ankle for 11 years now. I have been back to the hospital 3 times in that time for xrays and so far they have not moved. The surgeon told me on all occasions that it would not be worth removing the pins unless they grew out! I've had no problems with the pins and I don't know what will happen in the future however until anything changes I don't see any problem with keeping them in. It would be a huge operation; unnecessary and removing them May also cause the ankle to become significantly weaker. My advice would be to leave them be unless you absolutely have to have them removed!! Hope this helps!


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Well, had my screws and plate removed yesterday! Feel a little sore but haven't needed any pain relief today. Can't really put my foot down but that's mainly due to the dressing restricting movement. I can already tell though that when I move my foot to the outside, I don't get any pain now that the screw is not sitting on my tendon. I'll update you next week on my progress xxx


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi I had my op in June 9 screws and a plate, I am back at work but find it so painful, can you claim mobility or any help with things please?


anonymous 3 years ago

Hello, I had the ankle plate and screws removed on Jan 15, doing well. I am supposed to wear my stabilizing boot until the staples come out next week. Problem is the staple irritation against the boot makes it too uncomfortable to wear. Any suggestions on wrapping would be appreciated.


anonymous 3 years ago

I had a very bad ankle break 10 years ago and had 11 pins and a plate put in. 2 years later one of the screws was working its way out so I ended up having 7 screws and the plate taken out then. This means that there are 4 left and I am having very severe problems. I am 53 and at times can barely walk especially in the winter. My doctor has suggested I get them taken out and I will for sure do that if the surgeon gives the go ahead. The pain is too much to bear !!!!!!


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi. I suffered 2 broken legs and a broken arm in a MVA 17 years ago. Had plates and many screws, and had all the hardware removed from my legs. Absolutely so happy I did! I seen many people who keep it in and well, ALL have problems either all along or at some point. Here's my problem now...I did not get the hardware removed from my arm....big regret...and now it is moving and poking my skin! After almost 18 years! I will pray that I CAN get this metal out, because I have heard that after a while the bone grows over the plate and it is hard or impossible to then remove it (without rebreaking the bone?! ) So, ABSOLUTELY get it ALL OUT IN A TIMELY FASHION...that is my recommendation.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Let me clarify re : "moving" in my arm metal...the plate is fixed but one screw is poking out and causing pain and swelling...perhaps it has broken off after all these years. Another reason to get the hardware out ASAP.


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dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: Thanks so much for sharing your story with me. I keep putting it off but it seems to be the way to go. I wish the doctors would just schedule you to come back and have them removed. I will let everyone know when I finally call to get apt. what the doctor says.


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dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: harleygurl5150 I would love to see your before and after pictures. I am not sure you can add them to the post but if you can please post them. I am curious to see the difference. Thanks for sharing your story and congratulations on being sober. Good for you.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hiya just reading your post am due to have plate an screws removed was u ok after surgery an do they put u back in plaster cast ? Xxxx


anonymous 3 years ago

i have a plate with five screws and on the other side of the sanme ankle i have a long screw its been 4years since i broke my ankle and i been having problems with it but really scared to go though that hole process again


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi all from down-under. I am a 45 year old Aussie male...weighing about 210 pounds. On Christmas Day 2012 I broke both fib and tib and have plates and screws inserted as is standard. Gradually I feel some movement coming back in my toes and I expect physio will speed this up....surgeon suggested a 12 month wait....is this about average in the US. I do not plan to do any running, just keeping fit on a bike


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi I'm 28 years old I had six screws out of nine and a plate removed from my ankle 2 days ago my original surgery was in 2008 my orthopedic doc actually recommended me to have them removed a couple years later he said i was young and i would heal much faster as oppose to waiting and possibly having problems I just kept putting it off. I think mainly because who wants to go threw surgery again it was so painful and it's never a good time. I Kept goin in for X-rays every year to make sure things were fine, I've never had severe pain although they bothered me, my foot stiffened up and swelled if I was doing to much. One screw on the outer side started kinda poking out that freaked me out! so I finally decided to remove them. It's been two days I'm still sore but it's nothing like the origional surgery, the doc said I would be up and running in no time I have a follow up this tues we'll see :)


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Feb. 3rd. I am wondering how you did after your plate and screws were removed. Are you in therapy? I am having 2 screws out in a couple of days. Dr. says the plate and other screws nuts and bolts have to remain. Curious


anonymous 3 years ago

I am 71 years old, in January 2011, I fractures my right ankle and ended up with a plate and 7 screws on one side and 2 longer screws on the other side. My recovery was 6 month of which 2 month in a wheel chair followed by a walker an caine. I was in Physiotherapy for at least 4 month attending each week and doing my part at home as well. After a year I still felt like my ankly was in a shackle therefore I decided to have the "hardware" removed just before Christmas in 2012, almost 2 years since it was put in. I recovered fairly quick this time, now 2 month later I can run a little which I could not with the hardware in. I had to start physiotherapy again in January and the mobility is almost back to normal, even when driving a car, however when I drive in the city stop and go I get tired very quickly and my ankle still hurts and swells, when I had a talk with the Physiotherapist he said sometimes operations don't go as they should, I think mine was one of them as my walk is very different now and I have to work hard on it to correct it. I still feel it was a good thing to have the hard ware removed even in my age. I had my bone tensity checked before I had the last operation result were good for my age. There is one thing I am wondering about is that in the "olden days" you young people might call it, the foot was placed back in its place a cast was put on for 8 weeks just like my husband had it done in 1961, short recovery and no problems since then. Cost of same very low. I am wondering why all the hardware now, arthritis was the answer. My husband now 75 years old, no arthritis in his ankle, he keeps tellimg me I never should have done the "hard ware thing". I feel that the doctors don't know anymore that this can be done without hard ware. Cost of that operation very high and followed up by many with a 2nd operation again cost and Physiotherapy costs alone I must have spent at least $1,800 for it alone.


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dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: Trudy,

I was wondering the same thing. Why does almost every person I run into that has a broken bone need hardware. They never did it in the past. You just got a cast on healed and had it removed. I still have my hardware. I dread going to have them removed even though it seems like most people feel better after.


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dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: Ari,

Thanks for sharing your story please let me know how it goes. I too keep putting off having them removed. I only have pain once in a while so like you said who wants to go thru surgery again. I will be interested to see how your recovery goes. Also, if the pain and swelling stops after removal.

Thanks Dawn


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dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: Sabrina,

That is exactly how I feel. Wish the Dr would have said that I had to have them removed and didn't give me a choice.


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dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: MVL

Thanks so much for your advice. I know I need to do it but keep putting it off. Its when I hear stories like yours I get a bit more motivated. Please post back and let us know what happens with your arm.

Thanks Dawn


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dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: Monica,

This is exactly what I am talking about. I feel this will happen to me too and its only a matter of time. If I read thru these post most of them say have the hardware removed. Let us know how it goes.


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dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: Beth,

How is it going? I hope you come back and update us.


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi all

I broke my ankle both sides with dislocation and bone poking out, nasty! This was 2 yrs ago at Easter. I have been in pain 90% of the time ever since and can not walk even a mile. I'm going to have the metalwork out on Tuesday next week as the surgeon has said one of the pins is sticking in the soft tissue ( it has been for two years judging by the x-rays) I'm really looking forward to having it all removed as I've never liked the thought of it in there.

Just make sure you get to see all of your x-rays and for a small fee you can have them copied on to a cd disc which has been really helpful to my physio. I hope the removal will be a success, in not really sure what to expect, but it can't be any worse!


anonymous 3 years ago

Tom - I broke my tibula and fibula - severely - in a motorcycle crash in June 2010 - not it is February 2013. I have talked to several doctors and they all advise me to leave the hardware in - for life. Normally I do not have much pain, but sometimes - tonight for example - the pain started in my foot, ankle, and leg - and it was very intense to the point where I could barely walk. I am 42. I was 39 when the accident (which I am lucky to have survived without being paralyzed) occurred. .... Don't know what else to say... usually there is no pain, and I feel the docs are right - but when the pain flares up - I wonder. I read sites where everyone says it's best to remove the hardware... my doctors tell me otherwise. The docs say it was a very bad break (which it was) and that I will just have to learn to live with the pain sometimes. Their opinion is it's not worth the risk to remove the hardware. Of course, the only time I look up sites like this is when the pain starts - and it is intense pain - almost 3 years after the motorcycle wreck... I don't know what I'll do... running is something I can't do much of anymore - that's for sure. I tend to want to trust the docs and leave the hardware in - but sometimes I do wonder about it... so, even though I never had the surgery to have the plates and screws removed... I do wonder when the pain starts - then I remember what the docs said "You'll just have to learn to live with it." Tonight it was much worse than usual, but I was walking and carrying a heavy load.... I regret that crash but I'm glad I lived and can still walk - I think I will probably just follow the docs' advice and "live with it." Surgery is obviously risky business, and what I was told was that the bones will be weaker if I do have them removed - and there is no guarantee that the pain will go away.... I have the same problem with my right arm and wrist... same, but different... as well as my head, where I had a TBI (no helmet on)... the doc says the pain is in my scalp - not brain/skull - but it's scary anyway - getting a little off topic - motorcycles are dangerous machines though - i am through with them forever... as far as my leg and harware and pain goes... I think I've said all I can say... I think I should follow my doctor's advice... unless this pain that I am now experiencing does not go away.... Post wreck, I couldn't walk on crutches until 2 months after the wreck, and couldn't even begin to walk without crutches until 6-7 months post-wreck.... I hate the nerve damage pain in my foot and ankle and occasional bone pain.... but something tells me the docs are right - leave the hardware in... that's all I can say about it for now. Usually pain is not much of an issue, but when it flares up when walking, it hurts like hell.


anonymous 3 years ago

Dec 27th I broke my ankle in 4 places climbing a 6 ft fence in 4 inch heels trying to save a deer...I recommend not trying this EVER. Anyway, I wound up needing a plate and 11 screws. One is significantly protruding from my ankle. The doctor right away said it needed to come out with in 3-4 months as the screw that was used, the bone will sometimes encroach the screw and the screw is stuck in there forever. Needless to say I was excited. For me, it's not a question of whether I should have all those screws and plate removed or not...it's WHEN!!!! From my understanding, the benefits of getting them removed outweigh any reason for keeping them in and the recovery is next to nothing. SO...I want these horrid things out of me so I can get back to wearing my heels. If I need to have 2 separate procedures to remove them, I will. I think overall flexibility and being pain free have made my decision. With all that being said, I'm still non weight bearing and have 1 more week till the doc will hopefully give me the ok to start walking...but when I see him, our main discussion will be when can he schedule my screw removal surgery. I'm excited!!!! Good luck and I hope you feel better.


anonymous 3 years ago

@dawnsantiquesan: Usually depends on the type of break is whether they'll use hardware or not.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hi jemor...I had a bone graft as well..cadaver bone along with a couple plattes and many screws. Its been 10 y. ears and I am in constant pain.. have a terrible time with stairs. I am seriously considering the removal of the last plate and 3 screws. I am just so exhausted from the pain. To all of you here I am more than convinced to have these suckers removed. It could not be any worse then it is now. I am 59 years old and the thought of going through the next 25 years or so as I age is more than I can bear. I'm going to look in to finding a doctor and get these things removed. Thank you everyone


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I feel exactly the same way. Constant pain and limited mobility. It's been 10 years for me. The more I read about this the more I am getting convinced to have the screws and plates removed.


makemineadouble 3 years ago

Hi all, this is really interesting to read.... I had a very nasty riding accident about 10 years ago, dislocation fracture, basically the bottom my ankle and foot was no longer attached to my leg, had surgery and pins plates etc. and was advised to keep all metal work in because of the type of break, took a while to get back to things after the accident and despite prognosis of a pronounced limp for the rest of my life pushed through and pretty much managed to get back to normal, although still had lots of "twinges".

Anyway ten year's later I am in agony most days, I can't even cope with the weight of the duvet on my leg at night and often have trouble even walking, let alone riding and I am pretty tough! I do lot's of sport and horse riding most days and do push myself, but am finding it harder and harder to do so. Really worried about the pain and going to the quacks who I avoid like the plague - I was wondering if anyone has had metalwork taken out after a long period of time as starting to think I need to take the plunge and get rid! wishing all you guys speedy recoveries x


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hi

I had my fibula & tibula broken in a car accident in Maerch 2011 & I am now scheduled to have the plate & srews removed & a total knee replacement done. This decision was madew after consulting with varios surgeons & they found that it was necessary. Maybe you should get a second opinion>


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi - I broke my ankle in 1997 and still have the pins and plates in. After another fall and subsequent xray I was advised to have them taken out by a consultant as 'their work has been done and they are no longer necessary'. I get a lot of pain (mainly when its cold and wet) and more recently when I'm doing exercise (I'm now 43). I'm quite worried about having a general anaesthetic and want to be assured that if I do get them out it would make a difference to the aches and pains I get. Unfortunately they couldn't confirm that would happen so I'm still trying to decide what to do!


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hi - what was the prognosis because I'm in the same situation - over the last few months exercise has started to cause more pain? I might go back and see about having mine removed after nearly 14 years.


anonymous 3 years ago

I fell seven feet from a telephone pole in September and shattered my ankle. I had two surgeries and had pins put in, rods the shape of an "L" going down my leg and across. It was never discussed about taking them out. I have pain now, and I think it is an agitated nerve. So, now I am wondering if I am going to have to have another surgery to resolve the pain. Or if they can even resolve it?


anonymous 3 years ago

I have hardware in my ankle due to a talus fracture or talar neck fractue connecting the tibia and fibia and pretty much the bone that is surrounded with cartlidge and very hard to break. When it was fractured it cut off blood supply to the bone causing AVN and making it very painful. This was all from a four wheeler accident and has been over 6 years now. Since that time it has developed arthiritis and many other complications, but with me being 26 I have put it off in fear of it already being to bad. They want to now remove the hardware and go in and scrape dead cartlidge and relieve pressure off the bone, and later on down the road possibly transplant a part of my hip to replace the dead bone. At first they recommended that the screws stay in because of the risk of removing them could cause it to collapse. So honestly I believe depending on the fracture and the healing would be the outcome of whether the hardware stays in or not. In reality, no matter what kind of fracture you have, you will always have problems and pain there after. It is how much you can deal with. As for the hardware causing more pain years later is unlikly because if your body were to reject it or have complications it would have happened right away, or not to long after the placement. Most likely experiencing more pain would be due to arthiritis or other complications like in my situation, not the hardware. So if you can keep them in and deal with it you are saving yourself from another surgery and risk from further problems. So bottom line I having my screws removed in 2 days on top of scrapping of dead cartlidge and bone so will see how much relief it actually gets but honestly I am not getting my hopes up because I have accepted it is something I am just going to live with the rest of my life.


anonymous 3 years ago

HI, I left some comments in December after deciding to get 15 screws and 2 plates removed from my tibia and fibula just above the ankle. I had the hardware in there for 8 years and every year it felt worse. Finally I got it out. I'm about 6 weeks out from surgery now. It was fairly extensive surgery with 3 rather large incisions. I'm a bit older (66) so I thing the healing of the incisions was a bit slower that for a younger person. But..... my leg feels so much better. I wish I had done this years earlier. All the aching and discomfort is gone. Get your hardware out earlier rather than later. You'll feel much better.


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi, I broke my ankle in 3 places following an incident involving a very sexy pair of heels and trousers that were too long! Anyway, I had surgery which resulted in a plate and 7 screws on New Year's Day 2011.

In September 2012 I started to suffer pain (prior to this I'd felt nothing and had even taken part in a 22 mile walk at record pace without a twinge!).

After an X-ray, it transpired that my plate was hitting on a nerve and it was recommended I had it removed. The removal took place last Thursday, and all went well, except, the surgeon had to prise the plate from my nerve as they were stuck together ...yech!

So far as recovery goes - so far so good. I'm 4 days in and my partner has been making sure I rest and has taken on dog walking duty. Walking isn't a problem, but I'm nervous if hitting stitches on either side so have stayed at home.

The plate cyld be felt through my skin, I was numb down one side of my foot, and my ankle kept "locking" in addition to the pain. Hopefully this operation will stop all this - fingers crossed!

Good luck with whatever youbdecidev


anonymous 3 years ago

I broke my tibula and fibula back in 2007 when I decided to leave one foot on one the stair and slide down 2 stairs on my with my other foot.. Anyway, I now have a plate and 7 screws. My doctor does not want to take out the hardware, even though I seem to go in there every year and tell him it's bothering me, usually in the winter. This year has been worse than the previous years. This morning, I was taking a step and my ankle gave out on me. Go figure. Going down stairs is hard, it aches, it gets stiff and just feel doesn't good. I hate the thought of going thru surgery again, but every year I get a bit worse. I am 53 years old and don't want to be unable to do things by the time I am 60.


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi i broke my fibula and tibia and had a bone graft from my hip this time last year and i am always in pain.Im 61yrs old suffer from arthiritis for many years.They said it was a insufficency fracture i walk on it for 12weeks they said i had tendernitis and on the 4th visit they decised to xray my ankle which by this time had collased inwards.They put 12 screws and locking plates in my ankle and my foot swells up all the time and is very painful,Went to see a orthopaedic surgeon last week and he says that thelocking plate and screws have .cut through the fibula bone but it is to soon to remove as he would like to leave it another three mths and see me then to see how it going. I think that he is leaving it because of the bone graft as it needs to settle down,i cannot wait to have it out but will it be any better who no's


anonymous 3 years ago

I am 49 years old. In 1989 i broke my tiba and fibia and had a plate and 7 screws on the outside of my ankle and 2 screws a long pin and a wire added on the instep. I had experienced loss of range of motion and terrible pain on the top of my ankle for many years. Especially when wearing the wrong shoes! In 1995 my doctor told me it was just tendinitis and NOT to have the hardware removed. After taking a trip to Germany last summer i realized the pain was becoming debilitating and sought out a new ortho. I am now on day 5 of hardware removal surgery. He removed only the instep hardware and then scoped all the scar tissue and broken cartiledge pieces. It has NOT been an easy recovery as i broke out in hives from the pain meds and ended up back in the hospital for what they thought was a blood clot. Thankfully it was not a clot, just a sore muscle from keeping it elevated. Im not sure yet what the out come of this hardware removal will be. I am non weight bearing for at least one more week. I was told i would have a walking boot, but that's not happening. Too painful to bear weight. So my advice is to think real hard about leaving the hardware in too long. 24 years was way too long and my doctor should have listened too me when i wanted it out back in the 90's. im hoping my decision to remove some of the hardware, was a good one. Time will tell!!!


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi there i am 39 years old about 5 years ago I broke my ankle in 3 places in an attack class at the gym. I had surgery to put in a plate & screws, ever since the surgery I never got full movement back, my ankle makes a click noise when I stand on my toes, the pain has gradually got worse each year and I feel the screws through my skin. I am booked in tomorrow to finally have it removed and am feeling nervous but after reading all your posts feel it is the right decision, sooner rather than later. Wish me luck.


anonymous 3 years ago

In may 2006 I fell down the stairs and broke the bones in my ankle. I had 2 plates and screws inserted. I was 19 and told I wouldn't need them removing but would come across problems in life with my ankle. Every time it's cold it aches and after a few year the skin on my ankle is wearing and the screws can be made out and felt. If I knock it, it sends a tingle through my ankle. Pins and needles always happens. These problems haven't bothered me but in the last few months I've been getting shooting pains up my ankle and wondering whether to get advice from the doctor. I'm too scared to have an op to have them removed and feel either way if I leave them in or have them removed I'll face problems as I've had them in nearly 8yr. Hard choice to make


anonymous 3 years ago

I shattered my ankle 12 years ago, WAS a professional mountain biker, that ended my career. I did a full 360 with my left shoe still clipped in my pedal. It ballooned up to the size of a volleyball. Nasty stuff. Ended up with 7 screws and 2 plates. I JUST got them removed except 1 screw which bone completely grew over it (writing this on 3.7.13) surgery was 3.5.13 and in a walking boot. Today was the first day alone and decided to walk with out it. Doing fine but that's all the 'testing' I am doing for now. Supposed to wear the boot for 6 weeks. I don't like the pain meds I am on because I am not good with them, on percocet for a couple more days. I would highly recommend getting it out ASAP and get it over with. Down the road you will be thankful (at least that's what I was told by my surgeon) no pain etc building up. Overall, I just tired of the pain, year after year and weather changes, just down-right annoying pain. I was on pain meds for years and not doing me any good, developed a habit, quit and now on these things. So I have to be careful. Just understand all the pro's/con's of it.

I am glad i got it done, but I do have 1 lingering screw in my ankle still, better then having them all in there I guess. I am glad someone else posted on here and recent stuff about ankle/screws and surgery.


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi , broke my foot in 2010, I had lisfrank fracture, so I have 3 screws in my foot still, my surgeon told me I should keep them in... I think I should get second option ? When it's cold my foot hurts , also I really can't walk or hike as much as I want, hard to walk on uneven land... What do you guys think I should do?...


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: had the same incident with my sexy heels :) i had my surgery done on 24 June 2012 broke both sides of my ankle (left and right) im the proud owner of plates screws and pins my doctor advised me to take them out and wants to take out the pins from the right side this summer but what i want is to wait to take it all out together! everyone ive asked told me to take them out as they can cause a lot of problems in the future so im planning to have my surgery done in 2014 , how long your recovery will take? can you walk ? is the pain the same as when you had your surgery ? and did you ever got back on heels?


anonymous 3 years ago

Hello!

I broke my ankle on Jan28 slipping on snow and ice. I have three broken bones in my ankle. The Tib and Fib one other bone not sure the name of it. It is a bone on the outside of your ankle that looks like a knob. Anyway, I had to have surgery the next day and now I have three pins and two screws. I just went to the Doc on Monday. I'm six weeks into recovery. The Doc told me the bones are healed and I can start walking now. Easier said than done! I haven't started therapy yet which I'm supoose to soon. I'm having a real hard time putting any weight on the ankle it hurts so bad putting any weight on it. Going up and down stairs is unthinkable for me right now. Anyway, The Doc told me he is going to take the pins and screws out next month! Geez, I haven't even gotten over the first surgery! I haven't started therapy yet and will soon. I'm afraid I will have to start all over again with everything!

Anyone else in my situation?


anonymous 3 years ago

I had a bad ankle break July 2011 playing frisbee golf (really lame I know). My ankle is pretty good most of the time. I don't have full range of motion, but doesn't really affect my life much. I also have a pretty loud click in there. 2 months ago, suddenly I could feel 2 screw heads on the side where the plate is - sticking out. Freaked me out. Very painful if I bump them on something! I went to see the ortho dr and the X-rays show that the pins have not moved. She says they likely are protruding now due to less swelling. That seems strange to me - why would they suddenly appear? She said can remove everything if I want to. My decision. Basically they only bother me if I bump them or if I try to wear boots - can't stand to have anything touching there so no boots for me. I don't know what to do. I hate the idea of more surgery and the risks of infection, ect. I also don't want long term problems. Hard to make this decision. I wonder, has anyone had them removed and then experienced more problems after removal? I'm 47 now and already have arthritis in other parts so I worry about that developing too.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Seems way too soon to be taking them out. That does not seem right. See a good physical therapist soon! At 6 weeks in, I still had a lot of pain - it's a slow recovery! The doc told me 6 months until I could return to sports - for me it was more like a year! At 6 months I wasn't ready for any sports!


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Thanks Jana for your response. I'm thinking it is too soon also. Not sure if I will go through with it yet. I start therapy this week and I will see how things go. The Doc said he wanted to remove them as soon as possible. He said there is no need to have them in there anymore since they where put in just to stabilize the bones until they were healed. He said in time I could develop problems with them.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I broke my fibula and tore all the tendons around my ankle Dec 18th. (slipped on snow as well) I had a plate and 6 screws put in the same day. I am looking at getting the screws out, but the earliest the doctor said was May 10th, but normally they recommend at least 6 months. Walking again at first is painful, but it will get better. I broke it 13 weeks ago and Im running 20 minutes a day again. I would really check into another opinion about getting those plates out though; from what I've heard, that's not right.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hello Jana! If I was you, I would go to another ortho for another opinion! It sounds like to me they are bothering you more than they should. I broke my ankle two months ago and my ortho already told me he wants to take them out. I'm scheduled for surgery in late April. I'm still trying to decide if I want to go through with it. It almost sounds too soon. I just started PT on the first surgery and I'm sure there would have to be down time for this surgery too. He told me the surgery is very minimal. I have three pins and two screws. He said all he has to do is make a few little incisions right where he went in the first time. He said that the hardware was put in only to stablize the breaks until they heal. I'm not crazy about another surgery either and I might consider a second opinion before I go through with it. Until then, I;m doing research to see what others have done. Good luck with what you decide yo do but I think getting another opinion would really help you decide!


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I broke 3 bones in my ankle Oct 2011. Surgery the next day with a plate & 7 screws on the outside bone(tibia?) and 2 screws on the inner (fibula?). Anyway did 30 therapy visits and seemed to be near 80%. During the summer 2012, after some day trips of a lot of boardwalk walking, my ankle was swollen and in a lot of pain. I'm good if I do not walk or stand on it for for no more than a couple of hours. I can not walk without shoes or boots on. Barefoot or slippers are out as I'm in extreme pain. I asked a ortho foot doctor about it. He said the pain is from the plate and screws. He told me that the screws can be hitting a nerve causing pain. Also that the ligaments and tendons will grow over the screws, which is really not good. Today 3-28-13, I'm am making plans with my doctor to have the screws and plate removed. I do not want to wait any longer. 1 summer in pain is enough for me. Not being able to enjoy going to the beach/boardwalk for a day without pain or walking the dog around the block makes this a no brainer in my book. I have a very high tolerance for pain which is why I have not had them removed earlier. But I decided why deal with the pain if removing the screws will help. As I get older I do not want to deal with removal.


anonymous 3 years ago

I just had surgery yesterday. I broke my fib on Saturday 3/23/13 during a nasty fall dancing (go figure) I was told by the ER ortho Dr that I will have the screws taken out in about 3-6 months and if the plate bothers me then it will be removed in about 8-12 months. Is this common practice? I can't say I have any real pain but between the morphine and oxycontin I have not slept since I was under anesthesia, over 34 hrs ago. I am an emotional wreck to say the least and to make matters worse I am a homecare nurse Pediatrics with special needs. I haven't been told how much time I will be out of work and school but I cannot help but to look at the dark side of it all. I had recently taken charge of my health by eating healthier and exercising/jogging regular. How long did it take anyone to recover to almost full activity and is the recovery time for screw removal just as bad as getting them in? Any insight you can give is helpful I am 37 years old and while I am far from vane I am worried about lifelong pain and deformities? thank You all


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi, I shattered my ankle in dec 2008 after slipping on ice. I was in Finland at the time and so had the op there. They did a fab job. I had a plate and a total of 14 screws. It took at least 2 years to get full movement. Over the last year I have been experiencing pain. It can come on suddenly when walking and is extremely painful. It's like a sharp stabbing pain. I have never thought about having the hardware out but am now. I can feel every screw head both sides and sometimes my boot rubs on them. Am worried about how long I will be out of action for. Also do it make a difference what sort of screws were put in. Will it make my ankle weaker? Would appreciate your views or experiences,


anonymous 3 years ago

Broke my ankle in 3 places, dislocated it & tore tendons 2 /17. Had 2 surgeries, 1 external fixator to stablize & 2nd to get plate & 5 screws. Now have a boot but still can not place any weight on it. Need opinions on having hardware removed & also wondering how hard it will be to travel by plane

& bus trip in months. Should I cancel trip or?


anonymous 3 years ago

I had a serious crush injury beginning of 2013. I had both tib &fib extensively plated and have some bone missing that im told should grow back in. All my tendons and muscle were stripped off the ankle and my talon bone was smashed. Ive got 19 screws in there and lots of skin grafting. Im amazed its been saved but now i think a lot about having the steel removed. My surgeon says next year when the bone is grown we can look at it but removing so much support will put me back on crutches. Im already going to be on them for another 6 months. Surely the amount of screws i have will cause a problem? Has anybody else got large amounts of metal left in?


anonymous 3 years ago

I have 2 screws on the inside bone of my ankle. In 2010 I was in a car crash and broke my bone clean off that connects to my ankle. That was all most 3 years since the surgery an I have pain in it everyday. I can't move like I used to, if I twist wrong I have sharp pain that stops me in my place. I have been wondering if I should get them removed. If I do will this help with the pain. The pain is deep in my bone halfway up my shin. Any body that knows if removing them will help with the pain please let me know. Thanks


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Wow! 19 screws! That is a lot to go through! I hope you are recovering well!


anonymous 3 years ago

I had a trimalleolar fracture with dislocation when I slipped on a step at home and crashed into our steel front door just across the entryway of our unit Feb 24, 2012. I had surgery that night, I have 10 pins and a plate, and one of the pins/screws is poking out of the right side of my ankle (I broke the right ankle). It hurts still to walk flat-footed or do stairs or curbs, and it aches when it's cold or I overdo it, but otherwise not so bad. I'd really rather not have the pins out--I've had enough surgery lately to want to avoid it. The poking out pin doesn't bother me although that seems to be a favorite place for the cats to stand when I'm laying down. Hmmm.

I'll keep mine in unless they really really bother me or cause any damage. Now, one year out, they are not.

Sorry for your injury--it sux.


anonymous 3 years ago

Well it all depends upon the seriousness of the injury you had. In September 2010 I was in a horrific car accident where I crushed both of my ankles causing a Pilon Fracture at the distal ends of both my Tibia and Fibula I have plates and screws on both sides of both of my ankles and I am in sever pain everyday. Lots of swelling and by the end of the day once I lay down, there is no getting back up. Once the stress of my weight all day is lifted off my ankles and I try to get back up after a while I just want to cry because it is excruciating. I will Definitely be getting this hardware removed! Good luck with your decision.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Angel, I'm sory to hear you are in so much pain. I hope you get to remove that hardware soon so you can have a more pain free life.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Oh my! If you are still having problems with the boot on, I say CANCEL! I am still recovering from surgery 10/2012 and cannot imagine walking thru an airport or travel where my leg would be confined and swelling increased ~ which will happen on that plane. It still causes me severe pain to walk a long distance and forget running to catch that connection you may miss... Good Luck!


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I would definitely get a second opinion! My ortho doc told me she would take them out after 18 months if I wanted to but if I wanted to leave them in there was no issue with doing that. I don't know if it matters but I shattered the ankle, broke tib and fib, pulled off tendons and muscles. The fibula (shattered) is still not completely healed! Am envious that you are running already! I am barely walking and lots of pain. I was training for the Color me RAD 5k when I broke it. :-(


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Thank you Susie. I think it is worse during the winter and cooler weather, I didn't have this much pain over the summer so needless to say, I CAN'T wait for this summer and warm weather!


anonymous 3 years ago

I broke my ankle Sept 2012 and I have a plate and 10 screws... its only been 7 months but I just seen the surgeon 2 weeks ago and he told me the last xray shows that i broke the plate that was holding the broken bone together. The bone is healed but he wasnts going to take the broken plate out... I broke my ankle sliding into 3rd base and now that ball season is almost here I was out swinging the bat around and noticed even a jog hurt my ankle like I could almost feel the tissue and muscle rubbing against the plate... I have pain everyday even as I sit here in my computer chair with both feet flat on the ground i have pain and really on the fence about getting it removed. I will be 30 this year and don't want to go through this 10 years from now I would like to do it sooner then later if it needs to come out..I guess I just need to hear from others what you would do... :) thanks for listening


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hello Crystal. I would think having a broken plate in the ankle would cause pain. I'm really surprised to hear that your surgeon didn't want to remove that. Here is what I would do. I would look into another surgeon for another opinion. I myself would not want a broken plate in my ankle. Hope you get some answers soon so you can get on with life!


anonymous 3 years ago

Like Jules, I had a trimalleolar fracture of left ankle on Feb. 2012 while slipping on the stairs in my home. Surgery was two days later, with a plate and 12 screws. Recovery was very slow because of nerve pain and tendon issues. Now, 14 months later, I am still having occasional pain and restriction. Some good days...some bad days. Of course, on the bad ones I think of having the surgery to remove the hardware. It almost feels like painful pulling on both sides...maybe lots of scar tissue..? I just feel like it can't feel worse after having it removed. I think I'm going for it!


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jknake lm 3 years ago

I was hit by a car a year ago while riding my bike and it broke my leg. the dr. said the plate and screws could stay in. Sometimes I have pain which the dr said that the muscle pulls one way but the plate is keeping it from moving, thus causing some discomfort. I have noticed the humidity bothers it and changes of the weather. Some things that have helped me are in my article on Restless Leg Syndrome. If I could be of any other help please let me know.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I sounds like you have a real serious problem that needs further attention. You surely can't go on the est of your life that way!. My broken leg of 1 year ago has a plate and screws that seem to be doing fine. It's the nights that I can't sleep because of Restless leg Syndrome. You are too young to let this go. Get another opinion.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Wow you sound like me. I also was involved in a car accident; head on collision and my ankle is shattered. I have plates and pins. I had an external fixator and a wound vac, which are both gone now. But I continue to get tunnel wounds where the wound vac was and it is probably caused by the pins. Plus blood pooled on top ot the plate and caused a blood clot that had to be surgically removed. So now we are looking at taking out the hardward. Bones heal in 12 weeks, but the wounds caused by the compound fracture and the hardware continue. I can't wait to get a walking boot, but that may be 2 more months off. Is your recovery taking this long too?

Pam


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jknake lm 3 years ago

I don't intend to have anything removed at this time. No problem with the plate so far.


anonymous 3 years ago

I am had broken my ankle at roller derby practice and now have a plate and 5 screws on one side and 2 screws on the other side. I was an avid exerciser before and now...3 years later I am still going to physio. It swells up, and if I am on it too long it locks in place where I can hardly bend down. I am thinking of getting hardware removed. I want to run again and right now it's not co operating with that.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: Can they repair the plate. Maybe that wouldn't be so invasive.


anonymous 3 years ago

Broke my ankle in three places two were spiral fractures . One plate about 8 in long and 9 screws. Broken aug 2012. Had pain every day after that. Got my plate out 4-16-13 and immediately after the surgery. I mean the next day. The pain from the plate is gone. Wish I would have done it sooner. I am so happy already. That terrible deep pulling pain is gone . I feel like I got my leg back :0)


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Omg. Get the hardware out. I had that deep pulling pain and I am telling you that pain is gone. I had trouble going downstairs or walking more than a block or two. Just removed 4-16-13 and I have no pain at all . They opened at the same place as before and is healing really well :0) so happy I did.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I don't know how you could break the plate . I had mine taken out 4-16-13 and I kept the plate . It is about 8 in long and thick stainless steel. Anyway , get it out . My pain is totally gone already :0)


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I can understand why you would want to have that done. And I'm glad that it worked out for you. I was not aware until I started reading some of these articles, that a lot of people suffer a lot because of the plates and screws. Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones. I hope for your continued success.


anonymous 3 years ago

10 years post fixation surgery lots of problems any advise?


anonymous 3 years ago

Thank you all for your comments. I just scheduled my surgery for hardware removal...May 2nd! I keep coming back to read these comments, mostly to reassure myself that I am doing the right thing. The first time in surgery was an emergency...didn't have a choice. This was not an easy decision at first, but your comments are encouraging :)


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Jodi - thanks for your comment! So good to hear you are pain free already!


anonymous 3 years ago

i broke my ankle in 3 places, i got 1 plate 6 in long and 10+ screws that was i April 21 of 2012

now one year later i can't walk with out i casing pain. i will be going to get the plate and screws out.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I'm sure sorry to hear that. Mine does pretty good accept for the nights with RLS. Good Luck on your surgery.

joyce


anonymous 3 years ago

I broke my right leg, pilon fracture. shattered my Tib and Fib. With a spiral fracture into my ankle joint. i had two plates and 21 pins incorporated to heal the break. 6 months into healing I developed Compartment Syndrome. had a surgery that ended with 16" scar running down the side of my leg. My latest dilemma.... i am in so much pain. Iam post compartment surgery 7 months. the contstant ache and soreness. its ruining my life. But i don't think I have another surgery in me! has anyone had this much hardware removed before?


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: It doesn't sond to me like you have much choice. Have you tried

acupuncture?


jknake lm profile image

jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I broke both bones in feb. 2013 in my leg. So far I have had minimal problems with the plate and screws. My issues are at night with

Restless Leg Syndrome. And the dr. said that that plate would stay in. It was almost 4 months before I could start to walk on it, but I'm a retired person, a lot older than you.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: It sounds like things aren't going to get any better.. Maybe you need a second opinion. It sounds to me like they need to come out. After a year, I have had little problems with the plate or screws. Maybe I'm lucky. Good Luck in what ever you do.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Are you removing your hardware due to pain or swollen. My ankle is swollen all of the time and it has been 18 months since I broke it. I was wondering if I remove theplate and screws the swelling will stop


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I am doing it mostly for pain. I constantly have tightness, which causes me to walk funny. Then that leads to knee pain, knots in my quad, and on. I saw a chiropractor which helped a ton. I have issues with tendons and nerves where the plate is. I'm hoping to relieve at least one obstacle! I hope that helps!


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Good luck on getting the plate and screws removed. Please let me know if the pain has gone away thanks


anonymous 3 years ago

I broke my ankle in three places Jan 27th of this year. Three pins were placed in my ankle for stability until my ankle fractures healed. April 25th I had the three pins removed. The surgeon said it would be a really minor procedure and I could go back to walking right away. Well, to my surprise, it is not like that right now. I had only been weight bearing for about six weeks and going to PT three days a week before I had this done.I was using a cane to walk with and was almost ready to walk without it. For three days after the surgery the ankle was so sore I had to use the walker again. The ankle is very bruised , swollen and sore. At least today I started using a cane again and I start up with PT again tomorrow. I'm frustrated right now. I feel like I'm going backwards with my recovery. I'm looking forward to going to the PT tomorrow and see what the therapist has to say about how my ankle looks. I have to say it is more bruised then when I broke it in the first place. I see my surgeon next week for a follow up. Can't wait to see what he has to say about this. Maybe nothing is wrong and it just bruised really bad from the pin removal. I wanted to wait a few more months to have them removed but the surgeon insisted they needed to be out sooner than later. I hope I heal well from this and be happy that they were removed. Right now I'm not sure. Maybe too soon to tell. Just wanted to come here and post my situation. I will come back again soon to post my progress.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: Keep us posted as to the out come of your surgeries. I'm not having any trouble with the pins and plate put in a year ago but I'm always interested to hear what is going on with others.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Just wondering how you are doing now? I am also 47, and seem to have a similar story...I am scheduled for surgery tomorrow for hardware removal, and am still second guessing myself. I guess my main reason for going thru with it is timing. I don't want to have to do it 10 years from now. Would love to hear whether you're close to a decision. Thx


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: It is going to look bad for a long time. I still have discoloration on my shin. I think that you need to be concentrating on how much movement you have in the ankle. Is it as good as the other ankle? Also, the swelling will keep you from having the flexibility that you normally would have. It takes a long time for the swelling to go down and stay down.


anonymous 3 years ago

@jknake lm: Since I have a lot of swelling due to the second surgery I just had, I don't have the flexibility yet that that my good ankle has. I have made great progress with the therapy I have received so far. Like I said above, I was almost close to walking without the cane before I had the second surgery. I will be continuing PT now and hopefully I will get that ankle moving better again now that the pins are out. I do all my exercises everyday and will continue to do so. From what I have heard and read, it can take up to a year for swelling to go fully down to the size it was before.

I was just concerned about how swollen, red and bruised my ankle looked after the pin removal. The surgeon made it sound like it was going to be nothing and I would have just little tiny hole like incisions with just a little swelling. It turned out to be more than that. I was concerned it would set me back in my recovery.


anonymous 3 years ago

Went to PT today and my therapist was surprised at the size of my incisions and how red and swollen they looked. The surgeon cut through the same incisions I had from the first surgery I had to repair the fractures.

They are almost the same size.

The therapist said they looked fine and didn't think they looked infected just really sore. He said I didn't lose any of the flexibility I gained so far so that made me feel better. He said he happy to see me walking this well after just having the surgery several days ago. I just have to keep it elevated as much as possible and keep icing! Next Monday I go to the Doc for follow up on this surgery. Hopefully he feels I'm healing well.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I would say that you're doing quite well for having 2 surgeries in that length of time. The therapy is very important if you want to get full range of motion back. I know it's hard with the swelling but it will be worth it.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I'm sorry, I can't do that. If I can help in any way with information through squidoo, I'm happy to do that I'm sure that you can understand that I don't know you or if this is some kind of scam.


anonymous 3 years ago

Had my hardware removed 3 days ago (1 plate and 9 screws) and thank goodness everyone was right! The recovery so far has been so easy...only took pain meds for the first 24hrs. Then nothing, no pain. I have a splint on for 7 to 10 days. But it is useful when you can touch your foot down and actually feel it is connected to your leg! Big difference from first surgery. I will post after staples are removed, in about another week. I have high hopes that ROM will improve!


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Glad to hear your hardware removal went well. I think in my case the reason I'm having a more difficult time is due to the fact that I had just broken the ankle a few months ago and I was still dealing with swelling and some pain and recovery from that surgery. I kind of feel Iit was too close to the other surgery I had but the Doc insisted they came out now. I'm hoping things will be better in another week or so.

Again, I'm happy to hear yours went well.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: It sounds like you did the right thing. Good Luck on your healing.


anonymous 3 years ago

I broke my tib and fib about 3 months ago went in to get my staples out from surgery from a large metal plate and 21 screws in place and i was casted for 8 wks after the cast my leg just blew up in size another doctor told me to go to the ER and thank god i did they did a doppler and found blood. Clots from my ankle to my groin so im now in so much severe pain from a broken leg that happened january 1st its unmanageable. And the plate rubs against my ankle making it nearly impossible to walk...i just want my life back.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hi Shauna. I'm so sorry you are going through so much and are in pain. Good thing though you went to ER when you did. Things could have been far worse. I hope you start feeling better soon.


anonymous 3 years ago

@jknake lm: Thank You!


anonymous 3 years ago

Ok, listen up. I had one screw put in my ankle 29 years ago. Still have it in but i'm starting to have problems now. Feels like i need to oil my ankle. SoMetimes its hard to walk. Get the hardware out when you are supposed to.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: severe pain is the first sign of infection. After my surgeon put the hardware in, i was ignored and treated like a drug seeker when the pain and swelling got out of control. I was accused of walking around on it ama. BS! I did everything I was told. A week after my first complaint, I was sent straight to the hospital from the DR office for a second surgery the next morning. I was in the hospital for two weeks, and then six weeks of antibiotic infusions every eight hours through a PIC line. I am still angry that they did not listen to me from the start, and treated me like I was a drug seeker. This was in 2009, and I spent 2.5 months unable to walk. I never thought I would walk normally again. Now I am thinking of having the hardware removed, but scared of surgical infection!


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: Are there any social services that you could contact for help? Or set up a payment plan with your dr.? Does he know your situation? it sounds like you do need the 2nd surgery,it will only get worse.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I don't do well with drugs either. So far I have no problems with the plate or screws. I found that Tylenol worked for me with no side effects. Good Luck in your healing.


anonymous 3 years ago

i broke my ankle feb 12 and i have 2 plates and 14 screws and i am fed up to the back teeth with it.I had infections so many times and now they tell me there is a infection under one of the plates and it must come out as soon as possible.They are going to clean it out as there is a lot of pus and leave the wound open so that it can drain,i am n so much pain it is so sore and that's before the operation.Has any one had the same thing happen to them?i am going in on the 29 may not sure what to expect can't be as bad as the last operation can it?


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I would say that this has to be attended to ASAP. and the 29th is too long to wait. Can't they do better than that for a surgery date???


anonymous 3 years ago

@jknake lm: We are talking the NHS that is very quick for them.I am having the dressings changed every other day and it is very muckey.I go for my pre opp tomorrow were they check that I am fit to have the operation next week.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I hope you had good news on your appointment.


anonymous 3 years ago

Jemora I feel so bad for you! I can't believe you have to wait this long to take care of this. Sounds like you have quite the infection going there. I hope you can get this taken care of soon. Another week to wait doesn't sound long but when you are in the pain you are in it is. I wish the best for you with all of this!


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: Keep us posted on your progress. I'm glad that they are watching it so closely. My thoughts are with you.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hi jemora. Sorry to hear you are going through the infection part of this. It is hard enough just getting over the surgery without complications. I broke my tib/fib march 25 and had a plate and 9 screws on the 29th. my thoughts go out to you and this type of injury is devistating. Try to keep positive, eat well and listen to your Doc. Best of luck to you


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hi onelegmike I just can't wait to get it over with could do with out going through this again.The surgen said they were leaving the wound open so that it can drain out all the mess sounds revolting it will be packed and dressed every day until it heals.Then what happens I don't no might have to have it fused he said that when they remove the plate and clean it out he will see what is going on will let you no what happens thankyou for your thoughts.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hi Susie thankyou for your thoughts yes I am in pain but this is England and that's not long I was surprized it was that soon.Not long now three more days and we will see what happens.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: This really sounds gross. I'm glad that you are getting it attended to. Good Luck!


anonymous 3 years ago

Cheryle I have just had a stainless steel metal plate removed from my back I am hopeful it has worked and will give me more flexibility, ias very concerned about the procedure but it does get good results


anonymous 3 years ago

It has now been almost 4 weeks since I had my hardware removed from my ankle...1 plate and 9 screws. Original surgery was 2-21-2012, and let me tell you, this surgery was nothing compared to the first one! Had a splint on for one week, after that walking normally (with staples in) for one more week. I could tell immediately that I had relief from having the hardware removed...no pulling or muscle/tendon pain...basically no pain at all! In fact, I took the pain pills for 24 hours after the surgery, just because. But that stuff gives me bad headaches, so I stopped on Day 2. There was no need for any pain meds at all, not even Advil. If anyone is struggling with this decision, I would say there is really no downside. My ankle feels more "normal" than it has since the break. I am SO glad I had the hardware removed :-)


anonymous 3 years ago

Well I have had the plate removed and 9 screws on the 29th may.Very sore but over and done with on pain killers stitches and a large hole packed with sorbsan a kind of seaweed I think go and have it redressed next week I will find out if there a infection.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

Good for all of you that have had the plates removed and are doing so well. It sounds like the right thing to do. So for, Mine are doing fine. I'm keeping my fingers crossed me.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I'm glad that you're doing so well. it sounds like you made the right decision.


anonymous 3 years ago

It has been almost a month now since I had my screws removed from my ankle. It has been healing really well! I still have some bruising and swelling but the ankle feels good and I'm doing well with flexibility.

I had to get my med records for insurance purposes and I read in my file that when the surgeon went in to remove the screws, he found that bone had grown around the ends and the heads of the screws. So what was suppose to be just a 15 min surgery turned into a little over an hour! No wonder I was so bruised and swollen after that surgery! The bones had to be ground down around the areas where the heads and ends of the screws were so they could get them out. Geez, that was only three months of having those in and bone grew over them that fast. I'm so glad I didn't put the surgery off for later on this summer. It could have been a more major surgery.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I hope things continue to go good for you. It's a terrible thing to go through without any complications. It sounds like you're on the right track now.


anonymous 3 years ago

@jknake lm: Thanks so much jknake! I hope someday I can do most of the things I used to do.

I saw my Doc for the final follow up today. He said everything looks good. He asked me if my job involves a lot of walking or standing. I told him right now I'm laid off. My company went out of business last year after me working there for almost twenty years. My job involved sitting at a computer most of the time. I was thinking of going back to school but it sounds like I will have to find another career involving sitting most of the time. The Doc told me it could be more than a year before I would be able to stand on my feet for more than a few hours at a time. I'm a bit discouraged by this but at least I'm able to walk. I'm looking at it right now as a temporary set back. It could have been a situation where I had a stand up job and would now have to leave that job. That would have been worse to adjust to.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: Maybe it's good that you were laid off so now you have time to recuperate. Things usually work out so maybe you're a little side tracked right now. Keep a positive attitude, I know from experience that that is very important. Do your therapy and maybe a better job will come around.


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi. This lens really interests me, im also looking into having my hardware removed. I dislocated and broke my ankle 17th March playing football and had 7 screws + plate fitted. 1 of the screws broke within a week but it remains this way still. I do have some pain but my job requires being on my feet allday so i just ignore it. The main thing is i really want to play football again as it is my only hobby/passion. Is this possible or too risky? Would having the hardware removed enhance my chances of playing again?


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: It seems to me that the only one who can answer that is your doctor. What does he or she say? What do they say about the broken screw? Shouldn't that come out? It will probably just get worse.


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi I'm just trying to get some feedback! I shattered my right ankle back in 2004, now its 2013 and last two year really sucked! Ankle bothers like crazy, cnt really put weigh on it cuz it'll hurt, I feel the pressure in the joints everystep! Now my left foot is acting up too, maybe cuz all the years putting all my weigh on the left side! It really hard to walk! Should I remove my hardware or 10 years is a lil too late for that and/so I should start using a cane! I have a 3.5mm tubular plate and 6 screws


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: What does your dr. say. This has gone on way too long. See your dr. about this or get another dr. You need to move on with your life and you can't do it this way. So far, Mine is doing well. I have problems with Restless Leg Syndrome because of my break. I don't think that will ever go away.


anonymous 3 years ago

I just had my hardware removed after 2 years. The reason why was because my dr didn't put it in straight causing my hip and knee to turn out. This is very painful. I also had irritation to on top of the area and I couldn't play contact sports. Now i feel much better and the only pain I have left is bruising from surgery and holes that remained in my leg. Highly recommended


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi everyone, I broke my ankle playing soccer 3 years ago and had to get a screw put in it ( I was 12 at the time) and they put a screw in it. I've been back at soccer for 6 months now and my ankle keeps aching after training and games.

2 weeks ago I sprained the same ankle I broke 3 years ago and went and saw the specialist.

I spoke to the specialist about taking the screw out and he said it could be risky and that sometimes taking the screw out can make things worse.

I'm wondering how other people have gone after getting screws taken out?

How did you recover? Was it more comfortable after?

Thanks heaps!


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: From all of the comments that I have read on Squidoo, I think it's worth a try to have them removed. I haven't had any trouble with my hardware, I have other issues like restless leg syndrome from the accident.


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi had some of my hardware removed on the 29th may 2013 a plate and 9 screws.Well the operation was no way as bad as having the plates put in I still gave 5 screws and a plate left in.The doctor took a lot of dead tissue out and this has left a rather large hole in the side of my ankle,it does not look very nice its very sore have to go and get the dressings changed twice a week it is going to take at least 8weeks to heal if it does.The Doctor said that they have to be very careful as it is very deep wound if this does not work I will have to have plastic surgery .


anonymous 3 years ago

Had a trimal fracture a little over 2 years ago. When I asked about whether or not to remove the hardware my Dr said if it's bothering me then remove it. So far it's been ok. No pain or anything. Just the usual stiffness first thing in the morning and some aches when the weather changes. I'm starting to cycle and run again and I do notice a little swelling in the area. I also noticed my tendons are in the area of the plate. I hope it doesn't cause problems if I run for longer periods of time.


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi, like Nick I had a trimalleolar facture 9 months ago and have just undergone my third operation, this time to remove the metal plate and 7 screws which took place 2 weeks ago. I was in a position where I had no choice but to have the last 2 operations as my body was rejecting the metal work an causing infections. Last month was the first time since the initial op that I had an infection on the side of the plate and the pain & swelling it caused was far, far worse then the actual op.

The operation itself was day surgery and the procedure was just under an hour. I was lucky to be first on the list so was on the table by 8.30am and left by midday. I walked out of hospital with 2 crutches and after 2 days I walking without them. I was also on strong painkillers for 3 days (they provide enough for 2 weeks) and since then have only needed to take paracetamol twice. I had the wound checked yesterday and it's healing nicely no sutures this time just a number of strips and the scar is looks much smaller compared to my other.

Would I recommend the op? YES!! with all the infections I have had and the number antibiotics I've taken the side effects have been awful and my immune system has taken a battering. I'm never sick and this year alone I've constantly ill. No one likes to undergo surgery but compared to the initial op it is far less invasive and a very short procedure. The consultant has given me a 6 week recovery, this is mainly due to the holes left in the bone from the screws as the main risk is another facture should you overdo it. So no running, jumping or heavy exercise just gentle walking and your ROM exercises. For me the walking and ROM exercises have generally been no problem at all. A long walk may leave me a little achy but it's a case of elevating the ankle and with the ROM exercises I'm just a little shaky turning my ankle inwards but that's improving every day. Also I have to say that so far I've had much less swelling so far then I had with the plate in! Overall I'm amazed with how easy and quick the recovery has been. Despite the nerves and sleepless nights leading up to an op, I would do it again tomorrow..


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: Oh My Gosh. I didn't realize that so many people have had so much trouble.

I'm sorry that you had to go through all of that but I'm glad that you're on the road to recovery. Be careful now and don't over due it.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hi Natalie.

I am on day 8 of the same opp ( 1 plate & 6 screws removed). The physio said lite bearing for 2 weeks. I can walk OK .Can i just ask you.Was you told how long before you can drive .


anonymous 3 years ago

It is wonderful to see so many threads. I broke my ankle (tri...) on April 20th. Surgeon told me day after that the screws would need to be removed. I have the surgeons notes and I understand why. My accident happened in the Grand Canyon so my surger was in Flagstaff AZ. Now that I am home in SC, I will have to find a surgeon competent and comfortable enough with follow-up to do the removal for me... AND, I do not want to wait too long based on what I am reading here. Is a year too long?


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I lost my comment. What does the dr. say ? Follow his instructions. I've had mine in 1 1/2 years and I don't for see taking them out unless I have problems.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hello Caroline, I'm sure you have read some of my posts here. I had a tri break also. I broke my ankle on Jan.27 of this year. My surgeon removed my screws(three of them), April 25. So it was almost three months after the initial break. Mine were put in only to stabilize the bones until they were healed. I was reluctant to have the surgery that soon after the break but that is what my surgeon wanted to do. I'm glad I listened to what he wanted to do. I hope you find a surgeon soon that can tell you when it is best for you.

Good luck with your healing!


anonymous 3 years ago

Hi, I broke my ankle in July on 2012 and had my surgery on Aug 1, 2012 with a plate and ten screws along with a button on the inside if my ankle. I have a surgery scheduled for December to remove my hardware. I'm waiting because I am pregnant right now. I have had pain and swelling since my surgery and have undergone over 6 months of physical therapy. My doctor said that swelling this long after could be a response of my body rejecting the hardware. I am nervous about having my hardware removed a few months after my baby is born but I want to be able to run again without the throbbing pain in my foot. My doc said I should be hobbling around within a few days after surgery and that it's not as invasive. He estimated around 2-4 weeks until I'm completely healed. I just hope he's right.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: From all of the comments I have read I have not heard 1 negative comment about taking the hard ware out. Just follow your drs. orders and you will probably be fine. Good luck.


anonymous 3 years ago

I think it always a case by case basis. I had a plate and 7 screws put in on my fibula from a soccer injury 18 years ago. I had no real problem with it other than a screw coming out a little- but no real pain. Last year, playing soccer again, I took a hit and it broke my inside ankle ( I am guessing that the plate saved the outside or it would have likely broken my leg too). The notice that from the hit, the screws from the plate came through the fibula and were now impeding the joint. So, last August, they removed two screws and did some surgery to clean up the other sides bone fragments. I was back to playing from Oct- Jan with pain and went back. So- Dr. decided to take the rest of hardware on May 3. He also repaired the peroneal tendon and muscle belly and scoped the rest of the ankle. It has been painful and I have a high tolerance. 7 weeks later now- I was feeling sluggish the other day a PT- my wound wasn't healing-- find out I have an infection....even worse....they x-ray it and the dr left a screw in. I go today to find out if he did it on purpose or has no idea its there. I would figure that is something you should tell somebody if you knew about it........ bottom line-- go to a good surgeon-- even if his credential are top notch check him/her out!


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: You have had a bad deal I hope things get better


anonymous 3 years ago

Did you lose any height?


anonymous 3 years ago

I am 13 years old. I broke my ulna and radius and had to go through surgery. They implanted one plate and 5 screws in my ulna. My problem is that should I get them removed? Will they cause problems in the future? If they take it out, will i have a weaker bone? And what are the possibilities that there will be a problem during the surger? Please reply, thank you.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: What does the dr. say? My theory is "If it ain't broke , don't fix it". That's a really bad play on words, Sorry. What I mean is, if you're doing O.K., leave it alone. no one can really tell you if you'll have problems in the future. But if you do then you can have them removed. Hope this helps. You gotta do what works for you.


anonymous 3 years ago

I am almost 20yrs with my screws on my ankl,the cause me lot of pain if a walk long distance and when I woke up in the morning.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: If mine last another 20 years, I won't have to worry about it.

Check with your dr. If you are having pain then I would think it is time to have them removed. Good Luck


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hi I would really like to know how you get on in December, I fractured both my ankle bones on feb 28 2013 and ended up with a plate and screws I'm now 2 1/2 months in to pysio and hydrotherapy because I can't bend my ankle up and the pain and swelling when I walk is out of this world painful! I am also pregnant due November so I can't take the strong pain pills! I'm seriously concidering removal of my hardware and would love to know how your managing and the outcome of your op in December. Keri :)


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: What does your dr. say? If it doesn't bother you now, I would say leave it in. I don't think anyone can tell you what to expect down the line. It's going to be how your body is going to react to a foreign object in your body. Good Luck.


anonymous 3 years ago

I broke my left ankle in Jan 13, I have a plate and 4 pins. The pins were removed last Tuesday because they had moved and were pushing on a ligament. Since the operation to remove them I have had no pain in my ankle. For me it was for the best. I suppose if they're not causing you discomfort you should leave them. If you do feel any discomfort I can highlu recommend moving, it is not so painful & a quick recovery.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: It's good to know that the removal is not as bad as the surgery.


dawnsantiquesan profile image

dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: I am having the same questions rolling around in my head also. My doctor said it was up to me. I am not in enough pain now to have them removed but if they start to bother me more maybe I will then.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

I think every ones situation is different. So I feel that everyone has to make their own decision about this. As for me, I always go with my gut feeling. Our body will tell us what to do but most times we don't listen. If there is a nagging feeling in your thoughts telling you something, listen to it. It's usually right.


anonymous 3 years ago

I broke my ankle in jan '13 in the snow, it was a rotation fracture and I had 2 pins on the inside, then a plate and 5 screws on outside. I just had it all removed 1 week ago, I was dreading it as was in so much pain after op to put it in, but this has been fine! I was out of hospital same day, didn't even have to take any of the pain killers they gave me. All I could feel was stinging from the stitches, not that horrible deep aching pain like the first time. I didn't need crutches although maybe I should have taken 1 out with me in first few days. It's quite bruised, and aches if I do a bit too much! ( to be expected) I go back to work tomorrow but really I could have gone back sooner, it is an office job. If I go out for a bit, I just make sure I come home and elevate it for few hrs, otherwise it swells. I have been able to walk around normally for short periods. I can't quite tell just yet how better it feels but one of the pins was pressing on a tendon and that pain went immediately. For me it just felt a bit unnatural to have metal inside too, so I'm pleased I had it out.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I sounds like you're doing great. I hope it continues to go well for you. And I hope I never have to have mine out!


anonymous 3 years ago

I had a plate and screws put in my ankle almost 20 years ago. They never really caused me pain or problems, except that I have injured it two more times and always seem to fall on that side when I fall.

I fell on June 7 and cracked the ankle bone. It's been more than six weeks since then, and I'm still having pain and extreme swelling in my ankle. When I saw my ortho today, he said give it 'til Labor Day and if I'm still not satisfied we would talk about removing the plate, which he believes is irritating the tendons in that area. I'm 60 years old and feel the plate may have saved me from actually breaking the bone (versus just cracking it) with this last fall. I wish I would have had the plate and screws removed right after the bone healed 20 years ago! (But this option was never even discussed with me,) BTW, when the xrays were taken they showed a lot of arthritis in my ankle. I believe it probably was caused by the old injury, but I suppose the plate could have been a contributing factor.


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jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I'm wondering if when you injured it before, you might have had worse damage if the plate was not there to support it.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hello Cindy. Sorry to hear you fell and got another injury to your ankle. Sometimes cracking the bone is worse than an actual break from what I have been told. It may just take time for that to heal. I hope you are elevating it as much as you can. It is hard to say what actually contributed to the arthritis. I was told by my surgeon that getting the hardware out sooner than later will help the chances of not developing arthritis but there is no guarantee. I had three screws in my ankle after a break in three places in my right ankle. I broke it in Jan of this year and had the screws removed in April. I can tell a big difference already even though I didn't have the screws in for long. If your surgeon suggested maybe getting the plate removed as an option, it wouldn't hurt to consider it. I didn't have a plate but I asked my surgeon if keeping hardware in can help protecting you from another break. He told me no. You can still re break an ankle even though hardware is still there. I hope your ankle feels better soon!


anonymous 3 years ago

I broke my leg in 3 places, have 19 screws, two of which are in my ankle, and a plate on my fibula. In about a week and a half I will be getting the two screws in my ankle removed. I can not start walking again until these screws are out because of how fragile they are. They are the only thing that causes me pain and I cannot wait to get them out. I was just wondering what type of anesthesia is normally used to take out ankle screws? I was also told that I could start weight bearing right after the surgery as well as tolerated. I'm getting a little nervous but very anxious.


anonymous 3 years ago

I had a plate and 6 screws put in my ankle almost 1 MONTHS....if can i want to take it out ASAP... so is it take longer time to keep it b4 surgery removal ??? how long ???


anonymous 3 years ago

I broke my right ankle in June 2012. Shattered bones on outside requiring a 4" plate with 8 screws and 2 3" screws on the inside. Two months later when I began physical therapy and started putting weight on it again, one of the sutures on the plate side started oozing. Lots of swelling of course but everyone; physical therapists, etc., said it was normal. When doctor saw it a few weeks later he realized first that the dissolvable stitches had not dissolved. He pulled them all out, and within an hour the oozing had stopped and the mild but noticeable ache/pain was completely gone. Now fast forward to May 2013. The overall swelling had yet to go down - somewhat - but still too swollen. At times it would be dark red, but by my elevating the leg and a night's sleep the red was gone and also a bit of the swelling on the top of the foot. Figured I was on my feet too much that day, my boots made my foot swell, etc. On Memorial Day Weekend 2013 I woke in the morning, and having experienced some mild pain/discomfort while sleeping that night, I was shocked at the sight of my ankle. Swollen, red and a large knot at the top of my plate. Within a day or two the old suture had started oozing again - almost a year later!! After 2 months of antibiotics off and on, wearing a band aid over the suture, visits to doctor and E.R., x-rays and blood tests, worries about getting a staph infection, it was decided my body is rejecting the metal. I'm allergic to the base metal the hardware is made of. And FYI this is the standard industry hardware they use for breaks. They removed all my metal this past Monday. They were worried about an infection which can hide behind the plate and eventually if not gotten rid of, can cause a bone infection. Antibiotics can calm it down, but it can flare up from 6 months to years later and eventually becomes immune to antibiotics. My doctor told me the military has the hardware removed if one of their guys had a break. The reason is it weakens the bone. These guys jump outta planes, etc., and the metal can actually weaken their ability to not break a bone. My surgery went well. My ankle is the same size as my unaffected left leg and it hasn't looked like that since before I broke it. I don't need crutches but I can only walk on my healing foot by placing weight on the heel. Kind of a pain but the doctor says it'll only be for a couple of weeks until the holes in the bone from the screws has filled back in. Don't wanna do anything crazy right not. I'm so happy to have the metal out. I'm not squeamish but when I first saw the x-ray with the metal in me I about got sick. It looked like an alien bug of some sort laying on my bone. Gross. If you can and your doctor agrees, take out the metal.


jknake lm profile image

jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: I think it's up to you and your doctor. And also if you are having any problems with the hardware. It will be different for each individual. Good Luck on your decision.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I'm assuming you want to know how long before the break will heal and then when can you get it taken out. It was two months after the break before the bones healed enough for physical therapy. I was still on crutches at the time. I was free from therapy two months later. Say four months total to heal. But you've got to be having problems before they usually will consider removing it. Depends on your doctor and your medical insurance.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Izzy, I am very interested in your situation. I shatterd my right ankle in 2003 and am having similar problems now. The first 5 years were a lot easier than the last couple. I was warned about arthritis, but I never expected it to be like this. I have several bad experiences with doctors relating to some other problems from the car wreck that shattered my ankle, and the last time I saw a doctor about the ankle, he said the only thing he could do for me was cut off the foot!! That was about 3 years ago and I just don't have the courage to seek out another doctor. I'm 58 years old and I think they consider me too old and useless to bother with. If you get any feedback from a doctor, I'd love to hear more. Best of Luck!


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: C Visitor IN - Please keep us updated on your progress. I am 10 years out from my shattered ankle, heel, tibia, fibia and having worse pain over last two years than previous 8. Last doc I saw said I should just cut my whole foot off. Can't say here how I reacted to that! Are you walking better these days - glad you had the hardware out? Please let us know. Thanks!


Sandgranny 3 years ago

@anonymous: Please keep us posted. My injury is over 10 years old - lots of damage, lots of hardware - and am having more pain now than during first 8 years. Thinking of having hardware evaluated, but am SCARED! So any further info would be great. Good Luck!


Sandgranny 3 years ago

@anonymous: Mamamia, please tell me how you are. As an older person with an old break, (10 years ago), I hear all about how I just have arthritis. I'm thinking BS! But I'm scared of the doctors - they've lied so often. Please let me know how things are with you now. Best of luck!


Sandgranny 3 years ago

@anonymous: John, How are you feeling?? Hope you are doing well. Please let me know. I'm desperate to get rid of the pain from these plates and pins I've had for ten years. But don't trust the docs. Any feedback would help.


anonymous 3 years ago

I am looking forward to having my 9" plate and screws removed. It has been 19 years since the Initial procedure was performed. I cannot sleep well due to 2 protruding screws. Also looking forward to limited rehap afterwards. Color me goofy; the removal is to be much much easier. Good luck to all. And I am so grateful to the wonderful orthopedists who do this treatment. G


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Wow - I saw your post. I was doing fine until last week (August, 2013) and hurt my ankle again. I did something to it, something "popped" and earliest I can get an appt to get it checked out is August 26th. I just hurt my ankle again yesterday. My wife wants to take to the ER tonight. I think I am going to go. The hurt area is turning blue/black. I prey I did not do any damage. It seems like never ending saga since I had the surgery done. BEST THING: Surgeon didn't take out all my hardware either. He broke off 2 screws 1/2 taking them out and been in pain. They give me pain meds, but what does prove? I guess to shut me up. but I still have pain daily. I just wish they pull ALL the crap out of my ankle so I am done dealing with and taking pain medicine. I don't want to become dependent o medicine, especially pain medicine. Bad News all the way around.

Sorry to ramble, but answer your questions: JUST MAKE SURE THEY TAKE ALL OF THE HARDWARE OUT REGARDLESS IF IT BROKE (SCREWS) WHEN THEY WERE OPERATING ON YOU. If you don't you will end up like, getting another surgery done. I am going to a different place to get taken out. DONE with place who originally took some of my hardware out. Give me pain medicine does NOTHING, makes me not think about the pain, but I still have it and DO NOT like taking it. Folks get hooked on that stuff and I cannot/won't be. Feels like 1,000 needles shooting through my fott when I walk. It sucks. Prey for me folks. Cannot believe the position I am in. Bad days, I used my crutches and/or wear my air cast still. Months later, here we are, and it feels like dady one!!!! ;-(


Sandgranny 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hi Deb!

Just wondered how you were getting along? Can you give us an update?


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I just had a screw removed last friday. Just like you it was causing me pain (in my ankle). I couldn't walk on it either (without my boot). It was a quick surgery, lasted 15 minutes. They put me under andd when I woke up only 45 minutes passed. I used crutches the remainder of that day, and began walking using only one crutch and no boot the next day. I only occasionally get pain from my two stitches. And that's only when I accidentally hit them. Overall it was a very simple, quick, and easy procedure. I wish you luck :)


jknake lm profile image

jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: It sounds like you may have torn or stretched the muscle or tendons. By all means, get it checked out.


Sandgranny 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hey Rachel!

Am in similar situation and wondering about getting the hardware out. Please let me know how you get along. Sandgranny2@att.net


dawnsantiquesan profile image

dawnsantiquesan 3 years ago Author

@anonymous: Did you have any problems before the screws started to protrude. I had my screws and plate put in in 2007 so Its been a few years I only have minor pain sometimes so I keep putting of having the hardware removed.


anonymous 3 years ago

i gut fracture tibia and fibula before 3 years with plate and 8 screws/ actually i feel them with each step i walked/ lastly i faced bursitis at one of screws and decided to remove the plate / my operation is tomorrow GOD help me


jknake lm profile image

jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: Boy, you've really had a bad time of it! I hope now that you are well on the road to recovery with no more complications.


anonymous 3 years ago

One of my screws came out of place and the doctor has to remove it locally no big deal. But he was also talking about getting the plate out because I was young enough and I have skinny ankles. He said it would bother me if I didn't get the plate out. So I'm thinking I might as well get the plate out since the bone is healed and I don't have want to have problems down the road. I was wondering what you guys thought about that and how long after the surgery will I be able to walk on it


jknake lm profile image

jknake lm 3 years ago

@anonymous: What does your dr. say? Or get another opinion. I'm wondering if the screws and plate are causing the pain. Your bones should be stronger now because new bone will have grown there.

And you can't go on this way.


Sandgranny 3 years ago

@anonymous: Hey Nashwan,

Please let me know how you are doing. My thoughts are with you as I anxiously decide whether to start looking into the removal process myself. Bless you!!!


anonymous 3 years ago

I had ten titanium screws and a brace removed after fifteen years. My recovery was easy .I am 59. I have steroid shots now as needed for pain and swelling will need surgery, when I decide to fix my ankle. I will wait until I can find the right surgeon and surgery, the surgery does not last forever.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: You need those screws in there until your ankle heals .

. Maybe five years. get a grip it holds up your whole body. Take care of it or you will be sorry.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Same thing happened to me. My original Dr. Left town and I had my screws out 15 years later. Getting them out really helped the pain but now you will need to think of surgery that freezes your ankle. You are my age so remember wait as long as you can because this surgery will not last forever.


princessarah84 3 years ago

I have six screws and a plate in my ankle. I broke my ankle in three places 12 (almost 13 now) years ago. I orginally had seven and they removed one after the first month, but left the other six screws and the plate. My ankle has never gone back down to size. One doctor years later told me to leave them in to keep my ankle strong. The problem is that i am now physically active and i tried running recently. My ankle is now the size of a grapefruit and very painful for days after. I have pains shooting up my leg. This has caused me to research into removal of the screws and plate. I am first getting a brace for my exercise and also scheduling for a xray. I am currently 29 and unsure of how my doctor will proceed. But my current doctor just tells me not to run (Sorry but thats just not an option i would like the ability to do so if it is possible).

Once i hear from my doctor i will try to post what was decided and if i am having surgery i will let you know how that goes


Loop 2 years ago

I broke my ankle on the inside and my fibula on the top in January of 2012 and had surgery within hours of my accident. I was in a wheel chair for 3 months, then a walking cast/boot for another 2 months. The pin was pushing on the outside of my ankle and hurting a great deal, almost right from the day they were put in. I had all of the hardware removed in May 2012. I've had no pain since they were removed, other than the occasional slight pain after a long hike etc, which goes away without any assistance. The recovery time for the removal was about 2 days. I walked out of the hospital within 2 hours of the removal and was off work for one day, then back to work and able to walk normally within 2- 3 days. I waited 2 weeks to get back to physio etc. I recently had it x rayed (I twisted it and they wanted to make sure I hadn't reinjured) and the holes where the hardware was have all filled in and aside from the lines in my bones, it all looks like I never broke the bones.

If you're in pain, and the only thing stopping you is fear of the pain and downtime after the removal, I'd go for it. The pain is NOTHING compared to the original pain of the break, and the downtime is very minimal. I had spinals for both as well, which helps with a speedy recovery.


GldNgrlTracy 2 years ago from FL

In a head on collision my right ankle was crushed in '92. I have a dead mans bone as my heel with two plates and 7 screws. One plate going up ankle with the other plate across the side of my foot. My heel is sliding out the side. My foot has always been limited in motion. I can't move it side to side; but barely up/down. With age the movement is worse and now pain is to much. I have a burning pain now where my hardware is. I learned to be ready when a nerve gets pinched and it feels like I sprained my ankle. Its a quick sharp pain that I learned to deal with. Now with the burning pain and heel sliding out. I feel the need to remove my hardware. But, I'm not sure do to weakening the ankle more? It's been almost 22 yrs the age I was in the wreck. I've done the best I could with the hardware. I don't want surgery! But, I do want to make the right choice? Is it to late to remove hardware?? I don't want to use anything that would make me look weak like a wheelchair. I want to continue walking!!


Friend 2 years ago

Hi, I had a bimalleolar ankle fracture in July 2012 when I was 30 years old and had a surgery with involved fixing my right ankle with a metal plate and 5 screws and 2 metal wires. My surgeon suggested the implants to be removed after 2 years after My initial surgery I was on best rest for 3 months and started walking in the fourth month , I underwent surgery to remove the implants 3 days ago surgery was successful still in lot of pain but my surgeon says I can start walking in 2 weeks keeping my fingers crossed but will suggest going in for implant removal for long time benefit


Laura Stamm 2 years ago

I had most of them removed because they broke. But still have a lot of pain. I think once you brake your ankle and arthritis kicks in its not going matter if they are in or out. They left in the big screws going vertically because they said it would cause problems with tendins and nerves.


2 years ago

I broke my heel 4 months ago and am now back to work. I have a plate and 7 screws. Sometimes I can't even work on days because of the pain in my heel. Will the pain ever go away? How long? And does getting the hardware removed help the pain? I'm in fumigation so I'm always on my feet


Sondra W 2 years ago

I broke both sides of my ankle back in 1999 ( almost 15 years ago) and I am working where am standing up for anywhere between 12-16 hours a day. I have a rod and 8 screws up my leg and 2 long screws in my ankle. My ankle is swelling so much and causes me almost unbearable pain. I am planning to make an appt with doctor the end of November and I pray that something can be done. Mobic is not helping anymore ....but as a single mother I have to work my 2 jobs with pain or not! Has anyone got any info on how long I could be out or if the removal would even help?


joseph ruiz 2 years ago

I have a plate and at least three screws put in my right ankle when I was 16 years old. today i'm 57 and still have them. I think I had a problem once about 20 years ago. one day i woke up and had pain and could barely walk. I went to a doctor and when I got to the doctor the pain went away. Don't know if it was related to the screws. I thinnk not. I was told long time ago when i was a teenager that the hardware would make my ankle stronger than my other. so far so good. maybe i have been lucky don't know.


Kassie 2 years ago

I had the surgery 10 years ago, I was 13 and now I'm 23. I can no longer run, play sports, or walk long distances. My ankle doesn't hurt all the time but whenever I do any of those things, I limp a ton and can't keep going. I'm contemplating having the removal surgery now but I've been dealing with it for so long and surgery freaks me out so I cant make up my mind.


Roxanna 2 years ago

I have a plate, 4 screws and 2 pins in my left ankle. They have been in since August 2000. I have no pain or problems of any kind. The only thing I have noticed lately is that the skin over the plate and screws has become discolored, almost looks like a bruise. My break was in the fibula just at the ankle, so the heads of the screws are right under the skin (they are Phillips head screws). I am thinking of getting the hardware out just because of the discoloration of the skin. Other than that, never had any trouble.


Judith 24 months ago

I broke my left ankle (fibula) and twisted the heck out of the joint with some ligament tearing a year ago. I had a plate and seven screws put in. I have an appointment in two weeks to see if everything is healed well enough to take the plate and screws OUT. I want them GONE. The incision area is tender to touch, and where the screw heads stick out make it so that I can't sit cross legged on the floor (I used to do a lot of yoga, now I find it too painful to sit on the floor!). Before the break a year ago, I just just completed my first half marathon. Now thanks to my changed gait and who knows what all, I have developed what appears to be a Morton's Neuroma in between toes 3 and 4 on my left foot. I got up to 5 miles this summer and as the pain has gotten worse with the neuroma, plus swelling and tenderness around the incision site and plate area, I am down to barely half a mile before my feet just give up. I don't know if the plate and screw removal will help any of this, but I am willing to try anything! I've done physical therapy and massage therapists, personal trainers, etc etc. This plate and I are parting ways. :) I will let you know how it goes.


Donna 24 months ago

I broke my left fibula on 9/25/2014 and had surgery on 10/02/2014...I go back to the ortho doctor 12/23..I am experiencing burning and stabbing pains on a constant. I don't want to go through another surgery, but don't know what else to do. I work on my feet.


Marilyn 23 months ago

My husband broke his ankle falling on the ice March 31st. On the xray, it looked like there was one crack--perfectly lined up--no displacement. But the surgeon repaired it orif. After surgery, the foot was black and blue like it had been in a vice. Later there was infection. After 9 1/2 months everything was going well. Then last week he woke up with protrusion, redness and swelling toward the top of the healed incision. Wasn't able to get an appointment to see the surgeon until tomorrow. But in hindsight we wish we had refused orif. Think the bone would have healed without all these complications.


Issy, Sydney 22 months ago

I'm so pleased to read other people's experiences as I am considering having the 8 pins and plate removed after an ankle emergency surgery 2012. I'm afraid as the recovery and pain was hard last time and I was fit then. I'm not as fit now and think I should investigate getting everything removed as I am now experiencing aches and cramp in the foot. Not sure what the next step is but to call the surgeon. I have heard they the bone matter can grow over the pins - my pin-heads seem very close to the skin.


Michael 22 months ago

I had 6 or 7 screws and a metal plate removed from ankle yesterday. They had been in situ for 8 months. I wanted it removed because it had been a bit achy. It was a quick operation under general anaesthetic and I walked out of the hospital a few hours afterwards. I did not take any pain medication following, and had a good nights sleep. Apart from the bandage I would hardly know that it had been done, there has been no pain. I am looking forward to resuming normal exercise (walk 4km) activities after a couple of days rest.


CyclingFitness profile image

CyclingFitness 21 months ago from Nottingham UK

I'm now 6 weeks after my first op (just two screws to fix the tib and fibula position) and already pulling my hair out. My doctor has already advised the screws will be removed in 3 months which i'm glad for as a runner and cyclist although my longer term recovery is a little vague- initially i was told I should be running in 6 months so hopefully things follow that progression- i've gone from active amf hardly at home to stuck there which is worse than not exercising.


Lora Vinson 19 months ago

My daughter has to have plate removed because a screw broke and the plate shifted causing great pain at times. When they go in they plan to remove the rest of the plates and screws and if they can remove the broken screw and plate with hopes of not having to replace it at all but total removal of all. They say no weight bearing for 6 weeks. Has anyone had their plates and screws removed and how did your healing process go? She has 3 plates and 15 screws. She's 16 so youth is on her side but it's been a rough year so we're hoping this is all for the best and will have no further problems.


Jessica Branson profile image

Jessica Branson 17 months ago

I broke my ankle 16 years ago and had to have 2 screws put in it on the inside of my right ankle. I was told that I should have the screws removed eventually and due to no insurance have been delaying having it done. Well now the outside the same ankle is starting to look like its bruised and its getting kind of lumpy around the edges of the discoloration. It is slowly but surely getting worse and worse. What should I do? And has anyone else had this problem?


cocsandyminki 16 months ago

I have a problem..my brother broke his hand ankle twice before 10 years ago and now he have a problem of pain,he want to do operation and make straight as before...it will be success or not ??? and what will be the problem after this ?? does it infected at future ?? please drop some solution..advice thanks !


Mingy 15 months ago

I badly broke my leg just above the ankle in 2011. It required 2 plates (they are really bars) and 16 screws. Most of the screws where in the ankle. Although I healed quickly, I was always in pain and my ankle was always swollen. I had a lot of trouble going down stairs due to poor range of motion. I went back to the surgeon who basically said "suck it up - it'll never be the same".

This spring (2015) I decided I ask my GP to refer me to a different surgeon. I live in Canada, so all this is free, but it is a professional thing to refer people to the original specialist. I was referred to a different orthopedic surgeon who asked me to describe the situation. He then prescribed all sorts of images, tests, etc.. When it was all said and done he said "the test show no problem with the metal - nothing is loose, there is no infection, nothing is wrong. However, if you want me to remove it, I will, but there are risks in doing so"

I decided to go ahead and have most of the metal removed. There were basically two groups: most was on the tibia and a plate and four screw on the fibula. To simplify the surgery I had just the tibia metal removed since that was seemed to to me to be where the pain and swelling was.

The surgery was nothing. They gave me a spinal block and sedatives (probably so I would stop talking). There was only minor pain in recovery and I didn't even have to take a Tylenol.

After six weeks in a ski-boot I was told to "resume my normal activities". The difference is night and day: no pain, no swelling. I can work a day of hard physical labor and not spent the night with an ice pack. The full range of motion in my ankle returned as well. The doctor is very pleased with the results even though he told me that there was no evidence at all during surgery that there was anything wrong with the metal.


anonymous 15 months ago

I shattered my inside right ankle 10 years ago and have been debating on whether or not to get the hardware removed mainly because i have no pain or swelling I'm in the 8th month of my second pregnancy since the surgery and weigh about 60 pounds more than i did when i got the surgery yet even with my pregnancies no pain or swelling no infections and nothings ever come out of place. I haven't had any pain since the pain from the initial surgery went away and i healed rather quickly and have no problems with range of motion however this is the only surgery I've ever had and i don't want to wait too long to have my hardware removed if its going to cause issues in the long run...


Brandon 15 months ago

I just had my hardware removed on Thursday, September 3, 2015. I can barely walk right now because of the pain but I think it's worth taking the hardware out.


William 15 months ago

Hi peeps!

I have had my ankle broken in 2007 during a game of soccer. There are plate and screws on the outer side of my left leg.

Recently i have pick up soccer again, but i've been experiencing great discomfort. At times, when the soccer ball touches my left feet it will caused a pain that feels like something is hitting my nerves and my left leg will go numb or "powerless" for about 3-5 secs.

Anyone can experiences this? I'm seeking professional advice soon but at the mean time i would like to hear from ppls who had the same encounter.


Scott L 14 months ago

October 1, 2015. I doubt your ankle will every feel normal with hardware in place. I broke my fibula in February 2014, underwent ORIF, then persuaded the doc to remove the hardware (plate and 8 screws) in April 2015. The ankle still does have a more limited range of motion than I'd like, but it is otherwise quite functional, normal-feeling, and robust. A couple of weeks ago, I ran and completed the Navy Air Force Half Marathon, and the ankle was never an issue.


Soyer 13 months ago

@william

I have exactly the same problem as you, back in 2003 i broke my ankle while playing soccer and had surgery to put 2 screws ( horizontally all the way) and a wire, over years i always had pain while playing soccer having "small electric shock" then the pain get worse and worse over and over even while only walkin or running, so i decided to go for remival surgery

I went to 2 different doctors and they both said that probably i wont feel better and will have the pain but my ankle will be more flexible, i was down and decided to go for surgery anyway 2 days ago "1/11/2015"

Sadly so far im not feeling any better and i cant even stand, electric shock still the same whenever i try to move my ankle and the surgeon said that's because nerf is damaged and its permanent, however thats only after 2 days after the surgery so i will keep updating you after a while if you want to. Wishing to feel better soon


vferg61@gmail.com 13 months ago

Five years ago l dislocated my ankle and broke both bones in my !eg caused by part of a curb at my job being built up higher than the rest. Instead of stepping up on the curb, my foot went into the curb. I had plates and screws put in the bones to keep them together. A few years later i sttarted having pain at the site of the plates. x rays showed calcium growing over the.top of the plate. My dr. Suggested removing the plates but left the decision to me. About a year later I agreed to have them removed. After that I noticed a numbness in my foot. A year and a half later the numbness is still here. There is no explanation for it. Nerve conduction studies were done but no one knows the cause of the numbness other than there is an issue. Why? No one knows. Has anyone else had a similar problem?


Arthur Schwartz 12 months ago

I broke my Ankle in two places in 2006. Have 8 Screws and plates in my Ankle. Never had them removed do not have any real pain. Every once in a while it gets a little stif so if I just wiggle my Ankle a few times I hear a click like cracking your knockles in your hand and all is perfect again. It is 2015 now and will soon be 2016 so if it is not broke don't fix it.


Gina S. 9 months ago

vferg61@gmail.com

I had a wisdom tooth pulled that was in my jaw line under a molar, and attached to a nerve. They must have severed the nerve when they pulled it out. Now my right chin is numb with no feeling.

And a light bulb went off when I read your post about removing the plates and screws. It's been 9 years (2006) and I am still hesitant to have it done. We walk ALOT. Like 7 to 10 miles a day. I am not in pain and I don't want to get nerve pain because I had it done.

Thanks for your post.


Kay 9 months ago

I 100% recommend getting the hardware out. I severely broke and dislocated my left ankle (tibia and fibula) in November 2014. I required emergency surgery and had a metal plate and 10 screws installed. The hardware had significantly affected my mobility, and had started causing me a lot of pain recently (the plate and screws were rejecting, barely covered by soft tissue anymore - you could feel the head of the screws and the edge of the plate) so my surgeon agreed to remove the hardware. I just had the removal surgery on March 1st and it was a breeze! 15 minutes of operating, 1.5 hours of recovery (I went under anaesthesia because I'm a wimp). I only required a week off of work, so I'm due back March 9th :) I was weight bearing straight from the OR, and was given a lower dosage of pain medication. I only really needed a crutch in the mornings as my ankle would be stiff when I woke up. I'm able to wiggle my toes and rotate my ankle already. The pain of this surgery for me has been 2 out of 10. Only bad day I had was when I got brave and let the pain get ahead of me, even then the pain was only a 4. Hope this helps in your decision! I highly highly highly recommend the removal regardless of the fact that you do not currently have any issues.


Adrian 9 months ago

I broke my ankle in 2000 and had a plate with 8 screws to hold it together.

It was fine for years (forget I had any surgery there) however, it is now starting to cause issues where my ankle around the metal work with swell and I have to take very strong painkillers to manage with the pain.

it started to become a regular thing and would swell with no apparent reason (i just work in an office).

Got an appointment with the surgeon who suggested to remove the metal work. having the surgery next week. hopefully the recovery will be OK.


a123 8 months ago

Hello all. I read over all the posts and they were helpful, but I wanted to tell my story and see your thoughts. I am a 28 year old female. I was ran over by a car and had Open Reduction Internal Fixation Surgery on my left medial ankle in 8/2011 which resulted in 2 screws and one plate. As a result from the surgery, I got MRSA and then had to get anther I&D (incision and drainage) sugery later in 8/2011 to clear out MRSA. An intravenous PIC line was put in where Vancomycin was administered for a month to clear out infection. This all led me to have a large open wound that I had to keep open post surgery then pack wet to dry with gauze and saline for 2 months until the tissue grew back in. Once wound had closed (which is rather large), I did physical therapy for 4 months after and got most of my mobility and range of motion back. I now have a depressed contracted adherent scar over my left medial malleolus. Althought, the surrounding tissue is supple and mobile, and my left leg peripheral pulses are full. The impression of the scar is poor quality. I saw a plastic surgeon in 2012 concerned of the location of the scar who told me that the scar was over a bony prominence that will be prone to breakdown in the future. He said that light trauma could damage the skin and result in bone exposure. He said it would be easier to remove the scar and resurface the mallelus with a proximally based rotational flap while adjacent tissue is healthy and I am young with good blood supply. Although, he did also say complicatons come with flap coverage which include infection, skin loss, and need for more complex surgery to gain optimum closure. The look of the scar is not what is bothering me. What concerns me is that it is prone to breakdown. Over the last few years there has been swelling on a regular basis within my ankle, especially after working out. I know this is common and did not bother me much until I started to get pain. In past 2 years, if standing on it for a long period of time or engaging in a very strenous activiity, I will have sharp shooting pains that only last a few minutes (which I was fine with and dealt with). I have always been somewhat active but within the past 6 months have become more active than normal. I go to Orange Theory Fitness (interval training cross fit type class) 4 to 5 times a week. I have been doing interval runs at high speeds, but only for short periods of time (anywhere between one minute and 20 minutes). Within last 2 months, I have had a dull aching pain in my ankle that feels constant and is no longer random. Now everytime I do intense weight bearing activity, it aches and then swells after. Since the pain has become so constant, I went to see an orthopedic surgeon yesterday, 3/15/16 (5 years after surgery) to get a follow up XRAY to see if there was any misplacement of hardware or anything he would see immediatly wrong. The surgeon said he does not see much movement of screws, but can feel the back of the screw through the scar, which is okay. He does not think it will puncture the skin in future but can't say for sure. He recommended that I get hardware taken out eventually if I want pain to discontinue, but said its up to me. From what I have read sometimes that does not even happen. He also suggested if I ever got the screws taken out to have him and plastic surgeon work concurrently in operating room to insure that the wound is closed appropriately for best healing because of the poor quality of the scar and all the trauma there has been to that area in the past. I don't know what to do. I am so paranoid I will have a MRSA issue again or I am scared that if I am cut open again, my wound is not going to heal correctly and then I will need more complex surgery to full closure. Please let me know if anyone has had any issue such as myself and what they think I should do. I am sure I should lay off the ankle in regards to intense physical activity, but it is extremely frustrating. Maybe if I did the bike instead of treadmill, it would help a little. But I am assuming I will still get the pain. Thank you.


ang98765 8 months ago

Hello all. I read over all the posts and they were helpful, but I wanted to tell my story and see your thoughts. I am a 28 year old female. I was ran over by a car and had Open Reduction Internal Fixation Surgery on my left medial ankle in 8/2011 which resulted in 2 screws and one plate. As a result from the surgery, I got MRSA and then had to get anther I&D (incision and drainage) sugery later in 8/2011 to clear out MRSA. An intravenous PIC line was put in where Vancomycin was administered for a month to clear out infection. This all led me to have a large open wound that I had to keep open post surgery then pack wet to dry with gauze and saline for 2 months until the tissue grew back in. Once wound had closed (which is rather large), I did physical therapy for 4 months after and got most of my mobility and range of motion back. I now have a depressed contracted adherent scar over my left medial malleolus. Althought, the surrounding tissue is supple and mobile, and my left leg peripheral pulses are full. The impression of the scar is poor quality. I saw a plastic surgeon in 2012 concerned of the location of the scar who told me that the scar was over a bony prominence that will be prone to breakdown in the future. He said that light trauma could damage the skin and result in bone exposure. He said it would be easier to remove the scar and resurface the mallelus with a proximally based rotational flap while adjacent tissue is healthy and I am young with good blood supply. Although, he did also say complicatons come with flap coverage which include infection, skin loss, and need for more complex surgery to gain optimum closure. The look of the scar is not what is bothering me. What concerns me is that it is prone to breakdown. Over the last few years there has been swelling on a regular basis within my ankle, especially after working out. I know this is common and did not bother me much until I started to get pain. In past 2 years, if standing on it for a long period of time or engaging in a very strenous activiity, I will have sharp shooting pains that only last a few minutes (which I was fine with and dealt with). I have always been somewhat active but within the past 6 months have become more active than normal. I go to Orange Theory Fitness (interval training cross fit type class) 4 to 5 times a week. I have been doing interval runs at high speeds, but only for short periods of time (anywhere between one minute and 20 minutes). Within last 2 months, I have had a dull aching pain in my ankle that feels constant and is no longer random. Now everytime I do intense weight bearing activity, it aches and then swells after. Since the pain has become so constant, I went to see an orthopedic surgeon yesterday, 3/15/16 (5 years after surgery) to get a follow up XRAY to see if there was any misplacement of hardware or anything he would see immediatly wrong. The surgeon said he does not see much movement of screws, but can feel the back of the screw through the scar, which is okay. He does not think it will puncture the skin in future but can't say for sure. He recommended that I get hardware taken out eventually if I want pain to discontinue, but said its up to me. From what I have read sometimes that does not even happen. He also suggested if I ever got the screws taken out to have him and plastic surgeon work concurrently in operating room to insure that the wound is closed appropriately for best healing because of the poor quality of the scar and all the trauma there has been to that area in the past. I don't know what to do. I am so paranoid I will have a MRSA issue again or I am scared that if I am cut open again, my wound is not going to heal correctly and then I will need more complex surgery to full closure. Please let me know if anyone has had any issue such as myself and what they think I should do. I am sure I should lay off the ankle in regards to intense physical activity, but it is extremely frustrating. Maybe if I did the bike instead of treadmill, it would help a little. But I am assuming I will still get the pain. Thank you.


Annie 7 months ago

Tibia broken June 14 2015, ORIF on June 16 two screws 7.2cm length each. Perfect surgery but delayed bone Union till 6 months later. April 27 2016 screws removed. Risk was or is : nerve damage as the anaesthesist couldn't find the correct nerve, result was he used five times more narcose as needed while the cut area still nerve active. The surgeon used spray which last few mins after the screws were out, then I had the stitches done with wide awake active nerves at the wound area. After about 20hours the foot was dead except the wound area with pain. Although I voted yes to metal removal, the risks are there, such like a warm hearted but incompetent anaesthesist ... Or wound infection which is more under our own control by keeping the wound try and clean...hope this I for help those who have similar problems and questions...regards.


Russ Brown 6 months ago

Crushed my foot in 2008. In 2014 I had plates and screws put in my foot to fuse some joints. And to keep my big toe from bending. Six months after the surgery I found out that two of the screws had broke. Almost a year later the doctor did surgery to repair the broken screws. I found out today that two more screws have broken. When the weather is cold or it is about to rain my toe and foot hurts bad. I am 60 years old and I do not want another surgery. But if these screws are going to continue to be a problem I rather have them removed than to take the chance of them doing further damage.


Sarah 4 months ago

I shattered my ankle on 3 sides in April 2014. 10 days later, I had surgery to fixate the ankle with plate and 14 screws on both sides of my ankle. In October 2014, I had the syndesmotic screw removed. Fast forward to March 2016, planned removal of all hardware. Surgery went fine, complications with recovery - swelling wouldn't subside on inside of my ankle. We tried antibiotics and drainage, and as last resort, on June 1, I had an incision and drainage surgery. Initially it felt great, but started leaking fluid. I've been not allowed to swim, go to the beach, ride a bike, workout, etc in an attempt to heal the wound. It didn't leak for 2 weeks and leaked again today. I fear that the next step is plastic surgery to secure the wound. Dr says he's never seen this in 30 years of practice. I trust him, he's the chief of orthopedics at a respected hospital. I don't know what to do anymore. Has this happened to anyone?


HEATHER 4 months ago

I crushed my heel bone 5 years ago still have hardware allways swelling and light pain last nite it started swelling and hurting bad ankle and foot size of a cantlope lol any body got any suggestions what I need to do you get shitty treatment when your old and on medicade


Scott 4 months ago

I fractured my fibula badly and had it plated with 6 screws some 19 years ago. The advice then was that if I was going to be fairly active afterwards it would be best to have the plate removed later on. After about 7 months I started to feel the difference in flexibility between the plated area and the rest of my leg when playing soccer and it began to ache there after matches. For that reason I had the plate removed after about 12 months - was on crutches for a couple of weeks as the screw holes repaired and about 6 weeks before playing soccer again. It was a lot better without the plate and I played soccer weekly for the next 13 years with no discomfort/aching in the leg at all. A knee injury finally stopped me playing but the fibula is all good.


Doris 4 months ago

Hi, Last Feb I broke my tibia and 2 places in the fibula and dislocated my ankle. I had 3 plates and 15 screws implanted. After a lot of physical therapy my therapist went with me to my next post surgical appt. Both he and my Dr. recommended removing the hardware. That was done last Monday. The only discomfort I've had post surgery is what I believe to be from the staples at the incision sights. As painful as it is (and controlled somewhat with Tylenol) I believe having the hardware removed was the right decision. Yes, surgery is always a bit scary, but the thought of doing nothing was not an option for me. I want to do whatever I need to in order

to get as close to 100% as I can!!!


Janie 4 months ago

Hi,

In April 2013 I had 6 pins & 2 plates put in my right lower leg due to tib % fib fracture. I had no physio apart from that of my own making ..lugging myself around the house, leg raises & stretching..and walked onto a plane in June of the same year! Now in 2016 I'm considering having the hardware removed as it causes the odd twinge & I'm pretty sure its moved down. After so little hassle I'm wondering whether its worth disturbing it? Thoughts most welcome


Gladys 4 months ago

I had plate & screws in my knee srewes in ankle & femure when I was 32 I am now 76 . I had my knee plate taken out when I was 37 because it caused me irritation my leg was always bleeding from scratching. The others still remain no problem . Even tho I have osteoporosis. Hope this helps you in some way .


DMN 4 months ago

Hi, I broke my left ankle last year in May. First they put an external fixation until i was able to get the second surgery where I had 2 plates and 16 screws put in and wasn't able to walk for 4 months! I didn't plan on removing the hardware and just like you making the decision of getting ANOTHER surgery was not easy!! I gave it a few months after therapy but I always had pain and during bad weather it was worse. I finally decided that removing the hardware would be the best choice so I went in for surgery number 3 last week. Now here I am today 8 days post-op and I honestly still feel that it was the best decision I made. I am already walking on it and the pain this time around was nothing like the other times. Don't get me wrong it is still ANOTHER surgery and there is still a recovery process but as the days keep passing by the incision is healing and i am progressing on walking normally without a limp. I still haven't had my stitches removed and I am a little afraid to see exactly what the mobility of my ankle is now since it's still sore. Overall I'm just happy that I am walking and that things were way different this time around. I hope this helps.


Unknown 4 months ago

I fractured my ankle in high school . I had screws and plates place in my ankle. My ankle is constantly sore if I walk to long . I have to wear a brace just to walk. I am 37 now and I have been wondering if I should have the plates and screws removed. I am going to talk with my Dr.


Brad 3 months ago

I'm 18 and when I was 13 I broke my ankle and shattered my growth plate. They put 5 screws and a plate in and I healed rather quickly. Around 16 I started having pain from the screws. I could feel them at the surface of my skin and anytime I bumped my ankle on something it was very painful. I had surgery 5 days ago to remove all hardware and the doctor said I should be able to put some weight on it the same day and it would be a quick recovery. I'm at day 5 post op and I still have a lot of pain and I cannot put any weight on the ankle. I have 11 staples closing it up and I go back to the surgeon in 8 more days to have the staples removed but I'm really worried that I am still having so much pain and cannot walk on it. Anyone else have these issues after hardware removal???


Daughter of Annonm. 3 months ago

My father at 81 years old had surgery in May of 2016 for a bad fall from a tall ladder. Broke his tibia in half and crushed his ankle bone in 3 places. Initially had first surgery to install the external brace for 3 weeks to let the swelling go down from the break. After the swelling went down in 3 weeks, had the 2nd surgery which was the installment of 3 plates and screws. My father complains of numbness and twinges of pain that occurs periodically, but not on-goingly. Another thing that bothers him is his leg gets a little jumpy like the nerves are causing his leg to vibrate and cause some pain from time to time. No one has ever suggested removal of screws, but at his age, I don't know if it would be worth it unless the screws were the cause of his pains because healing at his age is much slower than for a young person. The accident only happened about 2 months ago, and he is currently going to physical therapy. I don't know how completely he will heal, but he is walking without crutches already with 100% weight bearing. I must say, I am surprised at how fast he has recovered at his age. I will try to give another update a few months from now if I can.


Katie 3 months ago

Five years ago I shattered my left leg breaking it in nine places as well as having a compound fracture. To repair my injury my broken bones were screwed to a plate and I had 2 huge pins placed through my ankle to hold in place. I had continueous pain ever since, particularly when the weather is cold and wet. I just had surgery for the removal of the pins from my ankle. Aside from tenderness at the incision sites, this is the first time I have been pain free. My orthopedic surgeon had told me that in a majority of cases, a patient finds they get relief from pain, but it is not an absolute.


Dixie 2 months ago

On May 5, 1997, when I was 37 years old and 2 months pregnant, I fell down some stairs and broke my ankle and my tibia. I had to have surgery immediately, since my foot was backwards. I had 8 pins put in my leg. My other ankle was sprained. Having two other children to take care of, and having morning sickness, I didn't feel up to having the pins removed. My new baby was an emergency C-section. So that basically was another surgery within that short time. So I decided not to have them removed until I had the time to do it. Now my baby is 18 years old and I still have those pins in my legs. They haven't given me any problems and I walk a lot every day.


Tom 2 months ago

When I was 30 I had a transverse distal fibula fracture. It didn't heal properly causing a non union fracture where cartilage grows between the gap in the fracture instead of bone. I had a plate and 5 screws. A year and a half later one of the screws started backing out. I had the hardware removed. AnKlein has been fine for 14 years. If it's causing pain and the doc says the bone will fill in the holes then go for it. If it's not bothering you then don't worry about it.


Alison 2 months ago

Broken leg 2006....all fine until 2016 then one heck of an infection -no obvious reason why - cpr 235 - very high temperature - plate removed hopefully infection drained. Seven weeks on penicillin ...still feel feeble (22 September)


Kel 2 months ago

Hi All,

I shattered my ankle in 6 places when i was 17 and was told the hardware was staying in for life! I got a plate, pin, 6 screws. It has always restricted me from doing certain activities but I learned to live with it and i am VERY active. However, in the last year - my ankle began to bruise, swell up, pain etc

I went to the docs, got an x-ray and one of the screws had fallen out!! Went to the surgeon and he said, time to remove it as it was irritating my ankle and tissue.

So - i am booked in next Thursday to have it removed (took me a year to finally set a date) but I am glad to get it out! I am 34 now, so it's been there half my life and I have mostly heard good stories from other people who also had them removed.

I am hoping recovery is quick so I can get back to my usual active self!

I will let you know how I go, just in case there are some out there unsure as to what to do......

Cheers Kel :)


Libby 7 weeks ago

I broke my ankle a year ago and just had the two screws removed a week ago. The surgery was easy, not that much pain. It is still swollen and the incision is still sore but getting better every day. I could feel the screws when walking which was uncomfortable, and i'm glad i made the decision to have them removed. The Dr. made me wait a full year.


Kaz 6 weeks ago

I had my ankle hardware removed 2 days ago: 1 plate and 6 screw on the outside bone and 2 big screws on the inside bone. I broke my ankle 2 years ago and decided to go ahead with the operation while I am young enough to recover well and strengthen the bone again - didn't want trouble later on. (I am 55.) Also didn't like feeling it just under the skin. I found there were different opinions regarding removal - some say leave it in until there is a problem but my orthopaedic surgeon said he recommends removal, particularly if you want to be active and run and cycle. So here I am, foot up on a pillow and taking it easy for a couple of days. Remember that? I had a one night hospital stay after surgery with a spinal block and something to make me sleep. The ankle was painful the first night and all the discomfort of my broken ankle experience came rushing back - i.e. Not being able to walk, the pain etc. Howdver 48 hours down the track it's not feeling too bad and I'm using crutches to hobble around. Doctor said only 60% weight-bearing until my check in 2 weeks time and then on to full weight. Luckily I have a very quiet schedule for the next 2 weeks and have great friends and family to help out, especially with transport. This is nowhere near as awful an experience as the original broken ankle - my foot is barely swollen and not much pain this morning. Looking forward to getting back to normal quickly and getting active again.


Margo 6 weeks ago

Plate with 5 screws removed from one side, 2 longer screws removed from other side 2 days ago. Quite tender with quite a few stitches in same position as previous stitches. Recommended by surgeon to have removed as well as strong recommendation from my naturopath. Happy with my decision.


Starr 6 weeks ago

I had 1 plate and 9 screws removed. If your just getting screws removed, recovery will be no sweat! Like 2 days... its the plates that require more cutting to remove. Its been 7 days so far, and walking around, in abit of pain but not taking any pain meds.

So far happy with my decision too.


El 6 weeks ago

I broke my ankle and leg when I was 17, I am 30 in a few months. I had plate and several screws put in on the outer and a longer screw on the inside. Been 17 and stupid at the time I decided to not bother with a PT, I've always walked with a slight limp and the outer screws have always stuck out on the outside and inside since the swelling went down, I learnt to live with it, having 4 children and been a carer to my partner has always had me putting off having screws removed, I've never been able to wear shoes that touch the ankle as it rubs and causing sores where the screws try to come through the skin. Been to the hospital and doctors a few times over the years just to be told they haven't moved (never said they did, the problem was the screws rubbing and aches in the ankle with weather changes) over the past two days my ankle has swollen up that much that I can not actually see the screws anymore, I fear a screw may have sheared or finally snapped as it causes a sharp pain when I bear weight on it. Gp tomorrow in hopes they can offer some helpful advice this time. Worried after 13 years that removal will cause more problems with ankle, I was told they were in for life as it was a bad break all the way across the ankle (lucky to still have the foot according to doctors) hoping that if removal is necessary that they agree to do it under local as the last general I was under (emergency csection) was particularly scary and I can't do that again.


Teena 6 weeks ago

Hi thanks for bringing this topic up. I'm 41 in 2006 I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my left ankle. I had emergency surgery with plate and screws. Thank God I didn't break my neck. Anyhow 5 months of physio to relearn how to walk. Physio three times a week plus physio at home. I recovered fairly good I was determined but depressed too. Went back to work after 5 months I work in Health Field very physical work. I love my work. Than a month back to work I got a bad case of strep throat. My ankle swelled up red and pain to walk. Went back to my surgeon and he put me on high doses of antibiotics. Streptococcus strain invades weakened parts of the body. Since the hardware is abnormal in the body the strep went there. He also said if the antibiotics don't work we need another surgery to remove. Luckily they did work. He also said it would be a good idea to remove the hardware anyway because your younger and you don't have the best flexibity in that ankle. I couldn't afford to be off again I have a son bills mortgage and struggling. Now I can always tell when it's going g to rain I do have arthritis in it but not too bad. Always afraid of stairs now lol. So I always favoured my stronger leg my right one and than in June 2014 I fell at work in the am got back up sore but keep working than I fell again in pm at work now I was limping after work my co worker said I'll drive you home you can't take a bus got home fell again. I called a friend to drop me off at hospital. The ER doctor said you need surgery. Holy deja vous. I couldn't believe it this was happening again. I had surgery 1 month later back ACL reconstruction used my on hamstring to reconstruct meniscus repair and scraped bone out of knee cap. This was more painful and longer recovery than previous surgery. I kept reinjuring it I tore my hamstring graft so I had to heal longer my blood pressure was way too high I had to try several kinds of anti hypertensives to lower blood pressure because physiotherapy wouldn't let me co ntinue rehab until it was controlled. Now it took over a year with physiotherapy also due to my previous surgery on my left leg it was more differcult learning how to walk again. This time I was more determined than ever I was very depressed when things kept going wrong and than I went to private physiotherapy CBI the best team ever. I also talked to a social worker. My depression diminished I kept working so hard at physio and I did it. I had to leave previous job of 20years scared shitless how I'm I going g to support my son and myself . Yes I'm in alot if debt with credit cards had to pay the bills but I had inner peace and strength such a great feeling. Alot of faith too. Alot of traumas have happened in my life not just physical as the one I'm writing about. But thats life made me grow and learn. Too be very honest after leaving my job after 20years after 2nd surgery I got 2 new jobs my dream job working at the school board with children as well working with seniors in the community. My legs will never be 100 percent yes I have pain all the time but who doesn't. Im blessed I'm able to walk. Enjoy each day to the fullest . Life is a gift and when the going gets tough I get going .


Natalie 5 weeks ago

I rolled and fractured my ankle stepping off a step in 2011 it is 2016. I still have plate and 5 screws, I did initial PT and am 100% on ankle, no swelling, play sports, run, jump, no swelling. No pain. I live in Arizona so weather has no effect. The only problem with hardward is if I hit it - it zings me and shoots pain to my toes. I have since almost rolled my ankle twice and feel the hardward kept it from breaking again. But just this week the ankle is bothering me above the plate - tender. I am now considering removing hardware after reading all of these posts.


Denice 5 weeks ago

I broke my ankle in 3 places around 14 years ago. I've been in pain ever since. I have a plate and 10 screws. 2 screws are broke and inside the bone. I have one screw that goes from the inside of my ankle through the bone and attaches to the plate on the outer side of my ankle. This is the screw that has been causing me terrible pain since it was put in. I've debated whether or not to have the surgery because my original surgeon told me the break was too bad to ever remove the hardware. My ankle was also dislocated so he told me that I would have to live with the hardware for the rest of my life. Now I'm wondering if that is true. I saw a podiatrist and he told me that he doesn't see why I can't have the hardware removed. I'm in a lot of pain and it seems to get worse and worse as I age (I'm 45 now). My ankle is also tender to the touch in some areas and I have a lot of swelling still. I'm so sick of the pain and want this pain gone. I just don't know if surgery is right for me.


Sandra 4 weeks ago

A little over 16 yrs ago I broke my ankle, I have 2 screws in there. I have decided to leave them in there. My Doctor/surgeon, who is awesome told me it's my decision to keep or remove them. After talking to my grandmother who had hers removed said it was the worst thing she could have done, she was in chronic pain all the time. She recommended I leave mine in. I have pain from time to time and my ankle does give every once in a while but not to the point where I fall. I was 18 when the accident happened and I'm almost 35 now. I healed quicker then my doctor thought/said and didn't have to do physical therapy. Accident happened in 2000, in 2003 or 2004 I feel 6ft from a rooftop landing all my weight on my right ankle (which has the screws) went to the hospital just to make sure everything was ok and it was. So like I said I had an awesome doctor/surgeon.


Annie 3 weeks ago

Glad to have found this site and the feedback from those who have had metal removal, I am due to have mine removed in four days, I think that after reading all the comments that it points to the following; If you are still having problems after a period of time then removal is helpful, everyones injury is different and hence recovery will also differ, only a couple of people reported adverse affects such as infection, thats great to hear! The bottom line seems to be to give yourself sufficient rest periods, not over do it and dont rush your recovery, listen to your body, you know when you need to rest up. I am obviously nervous about my plate removal, my ankle has never been right, told by the physio that the bone was not set completely straight after 6 months of physio but of course, the Ortho denied this was the case, but it is clearly not straight, Im just concerned that this will affect my healing process,also I read that malalignment can create cartilidge problems, they are going to do keyhole surgery too, to see why my ankle is not flexible at all, cant even bend my leg after 20 months, oh well, her is hoping for a trouble free surgery, thanks for the imput from everyone.


Pat 18 hours ago

I broke my right ankle over 20 years ago they placed 10 screws 3 on the inside and 7 on the outside and a 6 inch plate . At the time of the surgery they told me they didn't know how long I could leave them in maybe forever but now I have issues with pain and tenderness .

I do pipeline inspection for a natural gas company I'm always standing on on even sometimes very steep terrain . Today as I write this I am debating whether to start seeking removal of the screws and plate .

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