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Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

Do metal plates and screws need to be removed?

By August 2, 2007

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Implanted metal can help broken bones properly heal. While these implants do not help the bone heal faster, they can help to hold bones in the proper position while healing takes place.

In most cases, implants can stay in the body without causing problems, and the removal of an implant should not be considered a "routine" part of treatment. If you are having symptoms caused by metal irritation, then removal of the implant may be helpful.

Related: Implants and Metal Detectors | MRIs and Metal Implants

Image © Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

May 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm
(1) D. Gibbon says:

Two years ago I had a double leg fracture to the tibia and fibula, and I had to have a large metal plate inserted covering with screws to help hold the bones in place. Now I have regular occurrences of severe pains all across the area of the plate, and after attending an appointment with a consultant, I also have some bone overgrown on the plate itself, which is also very painful. I am hopefully going to have a decision made in the next couple of days about what operational procedures will be carried out, but considering I love playing sport regularly at a competitive level, what do you think the best solution would be?

February 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm
(2) Bob Yancey says:

Many years ago, I broke my tibia skiing, and the result was a spiral “Butterfly” break. The surgeon said that the bones looked like a “bundle of straws”,so he wraped them in three places with a purnam band (?), which was like a 1/4 wide stainless steel belt that was placed around to hold the fragments in place until they healed.There was nothing solid enough to screw the pieces together. Is this still done?

August 8, 2012 at 6:33 am
(3) Tonya says:

I had a sever head injury which resulted in the placement of 3 titanium plates in my skull. Right by my left temple. I have had sever migraines ever since the accident. I have had other pain issues right at the plate site. Yesterday I woke up with intense sharp,stabing pain. Very localized on the plates. CT scan was done at the er along with a lumbar puncture. Those look ok as far ad the ER docs know. After lots of morphine toradol and percocets the pain subsided. Keep in mind this was no pain that I have ever felt before. Excruciating! I did end up with a headache from the spinal tap. And that’s relived by lying flat on my back. The main problem is the original headache is coming back. (Not relived by lying down). Unfortunately Drs, so far, that I have found have not dealt with my particular type of injury. I really need help. Any suggestions? Or does anyone know drs in the Tucson or Phoenix areas that specialize in traumatic brain injuries?

October 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm
(4) ka1up says:

i have titanium implants in my skull from brain surgery. These have continued to give me paln (discomfort) after 7 years. I am now ln the process of working to have them surgically removed. Not enough data has been printed in the literature on efficacy of tltanium implants, so it is going to be a crapshoot!.

February 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm
(5) 3839ferg says:

Ka1up: so what happened? I have 2 titanium plactes 10 months old. Sudden onset pain and it is undenialable that the screws are “backing out” and th plates are starting to shift. what have you found out? Do they have to be replaced or tightened up? As this is one of about 8 health problems I have and pain has neer been controlled since surgery, I am at the end of my rope, or wanting to swing from it. Can anyone out there help?

April 1, 2013 at 10:52 pm
(6) Lizzy says:

My plate on my wrist, I’ve had a year and a half is held in place with rivets not screws. And yes the pain is extremely painful.

October 22, 2013 at 6:33 pm
(7) kamaljit says:

I have surgery of my leg to remove hard bone and replace artificial bone grafting ,and to secure it dr use metal plate and screws so bone heel without further fracture .is it important to remove metal palate .

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