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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Fractured fibula: Large bump where hardware was removed

 RyanNS - Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:43 pm


In Jan. 2003 I fractured my left fibula at the ankle after rolling it on the ice. Fast forward to Nov. 2008 and I eventually had the hardware removed (all except one pin which was too far in the bone to be removed) no problem at all. In the past few weeks I've started to notice a large bump forming underneath the incision scar where the initial break was. The bump, visually, is quite noticeable but despite it's cosmetic appearance is causing me no other trouble. The bump is pain free and since the hardware removal in 2008 I've put plenty of miles on the ankle running and playing sports without any problems. I know that its a common part of the healing process for the bone to develop bumps at the fracture site but it seems a bit long after the fact for my ankle to develop a bump at this point.

I'm unsure of the makeup of the bump as it appears the layer just below the skin is made up of soft tissue or fibre which eventually hardens.

I can run fine on it, no pain, full mobility but almost two years after the hardware removal and 7 years after the break should it now be developing a bump? Is it possible the screw that was left behind is now working itself out?

 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:24 am

User avatar Hello,
The first step is to view the bone and screw by radiograph.
If the bone and screw's location and integrity are fine then think about granuloma formation just under the skin. Bacteria and foreign bodies can cause granulomas and other times they just develop. Tenderness is not uncommon and surgical exploration and removal are occasionally needed. I have seen granulomas form around or at incision sites years afterward.

Take care.

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