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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Screw and plates removal in tibia

 kirstenC - Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:06 am

20 months ago i had a communicative fracture of the tibia plateau and had 3 plates and 5 screws placed to facilitate the healing. Surgery is scheduled this week to remove it all. Are there holes left in the bone when the screws come out and how do they fill in? How long is the recovery, and is there any complications to be wary of?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:28 am

User avatar Hi KirstenC,

When the screws are removed there are some holes left but they will heal in, basically just like the break heals. The initial break was unstable so the plates/screws were needed to stabilize the fracture and allow it to heal. When the screws are removed, the holes will be stable so they will heal in well.

The biggest risk is that the bone is a little weak while the holes are healing in so some care should be take to avoid trauma to the area until the bone heals. I'm less familiar with the actual time this takes but I would expect it to be around 6-8 weeks, like a typical fracture would. It may be less than this since the holes are smaller.

I would suggest that you discuss these issues with your doctor to get more specific information regarding your individual case. Removal of hardware is a routine thing and complications are quite unlikely, although like all surgeries, it is not without risk so your surgeon can give you the best information about this.

Best wishes.

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