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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Meta; Pin in Tibia

 sanjr - Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:47 pm

In September 09, I broke my leg in both Tibia and Fibula. Ended up being in hospital for about 6 days before going into surgery when they put a metal pin in the Tibia and this is secured with 2 screws and the top and 2 at the bottom of the Tibia.

I shouldn't really have had to wait 6 days to go into surgery and probably wouldn't be in this situation if I had have to have waited but that's another story and the hospital I was at was rubbish.

Now I have two queries regarding this:

1) Near the top of my leg around the front/side where I have scars from the incisions made for the screws to go in, I can feel what seems like the screw heads. I have never felt around that area after the surgery so don't know if that was there before but more recently I have been getting more pain around that area so I am thinking that maybe the screws are coming loose or something ?

2) The doc says that I can have the pin removed as I am now healed however it should not cause any problems if left in and there are risks if I had it removed such as: infection and damaged bone if the pin has to be hammered out and could be back where I started. I don't really do anything dangerous where it could be broken again however if it is broken again, the consequences could be far worse. I was just wondering what other people have done in this situation and what advice people have to give.

 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:19 am

User avatar Hello,
This is a situation where you weigh the risk versus benefits of having the hardware removed from the lower leg.

In the least, have an x-ray done to view the screws and plate or pin. If there is no change, and the skin around the site is healthy, you may leave them. On the other hand, if the hardware has shifted and causing pain, then consider removal.

You can check with the hospital on their surgical infection rates and see if the surgical suite does only orthopedics (or for example does bowel surgery and orthopedics in the same suite). You may be able to decrease your risk by having the procedure done in a hospital with low infection rates and specializes in orthopedics.

Take care.

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