Surgical Hardware Removal

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by Prime Mover, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover Anything Can Happen

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,540
    Location:
    NorEast Ohio
    The two photos below are of my left leg (femur).

    image.jpg

    image.jpg



    Photos below are of my left arm.

    image.jpg


    These are the screws and rod in my upper arm.

    image.jpg

    Broke my upper arm and femur when a young driver decided to ignore a stop sign. Surgery repaired both my humerous and femur approximately 18 months ago. I now would like to get the hardware removed. Any thoughts or experience regarding hardware removal? Please share your stories. I'm meeting with my surgeon in two weeks to discuss. I am thinking he will try to discourage removal, but I'd rather have them gone. I'm an active 47 year old and I can noticeably feel them and it's starting to bug me. Pros and Cons. Would you do it again?

    Thanks in advance, Dennis.
    #1
  2. alansz400

    alansz400 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,412
    Location:
    Loudonville ohio
    I have screws and plates in my lower leg from a crash 4 years ago that hurt all the time. When I broke my collarbone 2 years ago the doctor that put the screws in said he would remove the screws from my leg. I was so happy. After a xray he said my knee is going to need replaced in a few years and they can take the metal out at then. WTF? So I am living with the pain for now. I say if you can find someone to take it out go for it.
    #2
  3. pelican369

    pelican369 n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I have a partial removal...I can't say that it hurts or aggravates less but the physical therapy after words was a PIA (again)! That is just me though, you may not need PT.
    #3
    Psiequalsone likes this.
  4. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,569
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    I have metal in my tibia and ankle from an injury, but I have no pain associated with the hardware.

    Does your hardware hurt, or is it just noticeable? Keep in mind that any surgery carries risk (infection, anesthesia, blood loss, etc.), and there is the possibility of more PT after the removal. So weigh those against the potential outcome, talk to your surgeon, and make your decision.
    #4
  5. LostInPA

    LostInPA Professional American

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,198
    Location:
    Central PA
    I have a fresh (July 2016) plate and eight screws in my collar bone. It itches the hell out of me. It's weird. It doesn't hurt or feel pressure until I put my armor over it but it like itches on the inside quite often. Anyway, doc said I could get it out next summer but that would be a whole new surgery, and heal up time. Sigh.

    I'm going to try to live with it and see how it goes.
    #5
  6. pointerDixie214

    pointerDixie214 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    Oddometer:
    266
    Location:
    PA
    I have a plate and 8 screws in my clavicle too. The itching will get better over a year or so. My repair was about 18 months ago and it still itches from time to time, especially when pads or straps from a backpack sit on it. But it's gotten much better with time.
    #6
  7. LostInPA

    LostInPA Professional American

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,198
    Location:
    Central PA
    Ok cool. It's weird though. I guess it's the tissue around it adjusting to its prescene or something.
    #7
  8. minute86

    minute86 n00b

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Colorado
    Damn dude, thats a lot of hardware. I have managed to stay hardware free despite being run over a few times by other motorcycles; I have a couple anecdotal stories of two people I know whom have had their ankle hardware removed; one of them on top of a bar in front of 100's of people and the other broke a screw in her ankle while running trails w/me. I'd say get rid of that stuff to make room for more. LOL

    Bonus points if you get it done on top of a bar hanging onto a stripper pole. :-) I'll ride out to see that!
    #8
  9. Skidmarkart

    Skidmarkart Dirty Middle Age Man

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    906
    Location:
    Durham NC, The Old Durty
    DEFINITELY get it removed. I know, it's a pain in the ass, but if you don't, the bone will grow calcified scar tissue all over and around that structure, robbing it from the rest of your body. You will not notice for about 20 years, but when the osteoporosis sets in, you'll wish you got it out. Saw this exact thing happen first person to my dad. Take it out.
    #9
    motorcycle john likes this.
  10. Guano11

    Guano11 Stop me if you've heard this one....

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,724
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    No medical evidence to support the theory, but I was told that "itching" is a good sign of "healing". It's been my experience, too.
    #10
  11. Diobsud

    Diobsud Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    NW WA
    I had an intermediary rod in my left femur and six screws in my right ankle removed, and have been happy with the results. Prior to the removal, the screws holding the rod to the hip were catching on the hip flexor tendon causing pain and restricting range of motion. The heel screws were also catching on the Achilles tendon causing the same. The surgery to remove the rod is not minor; be prepared for some recovery time. The only downside that I have is a bit more loss of range of motion in the hip due to the invasive nature of the surgery.
    If you decide to remove the hardware, sooner is better! Good luck, and recover soon!
    #11
  12. RidingMann

    RidingMann In training...

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    757
    Location:
    Mountains, GA
    I second having it removed if it bothers you (physically). I had 3 screws in my right foot and 3 in my left. 2 in my right foot were pretty aggravating for a long time. After stalling for only 6-7 years, I finally decided to have them removed. That place still bothers me, the remaining 4 gives me no issues, and it has now been 15 years.

    Point is, get rid of the uncomfortable ones as soon as the doc will remove them!
    #12
  13. DiabloADV

    DiabloADV Semi-Occasional

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,721
    Location:
    Nor Cal, USA
    I broke my clavicle in a high speed bicycle crash.

    [​IMG]

    Got this high-tech titanium flex rod inserted down the middle of it...

    [​IMG]

    Now that screw on the end makes me crazy sometimes. I sleep on my side...left side.

    I'm on a high deductible medical plan, and it will cost about a grand to get that screw out. So I'm waiting for a year when I have other bad luck and use up my deductible.
    #13
  14. Guano11

    Guano11 Stop me if you've heard this one....

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,724
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    What happens to the hardware after it's removed?
    Do y'all get to keep it?
    #14
  15. AlH

    AlH Long timer

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,459
    Location:
    SC/NC
    My youngest son had a titanium rod (actually a slotted tube) in his tibia from hitting a tree on my KDX200. Had it removed 18 months later- and yes we have it and the screws. I wanted it because it cost my insurance $25,000 to put it in and $15,000 to take it out. Very expensive souvenir and reminder....

    You have to ask for it and they may balk because they have to sterilize it to release it but we got it done.
    #15
  16. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,952
    Location:
    Top Hat - Seattle Wa.
    I had the hardware removed from my Femur (rod and 3 screws just like you) and haven't been happier. The femur rod was in for 5 years and I had constant swelling in my r. knee. My knee was taking the punishment when my femur refused to flex under normal stress. Get that crap pulled out ASAP. My sturgeon had to use a Vice Grips to get the screws out! The bone had grown around the screws and she stripped out the Allen heads LOL.
    Cheers and Good Luck!!
    Picture 066.jpg
    #16
  17. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,952
    Location:
    Top Hat - Seattle Wa.
    I had about two-three weeks of lite duty at work and then I was back to normal.
    #17
  18. kneeslider

    kneeslider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,612
    Location:
    Southeastern Xenophobia
    if it isn't medically necessary don't put yourself through it. If you do have it removed be sure to keep the parts.
    #18
  19. bogieboy

    bogieboy Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,112
    Location:
    Clifton Springs NY
    I have had a plate and 8 screws in my arm since 03, aches when the weather gets cold or stormy, but nothing more than that... had a 9th screw thar was protruding thru the bone at the elbow that was disrupting tendons that they did remove....

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Crash tester & discount dummy

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    3,958
    Location:
    In Motorcycle Heaven since 1990 - So Cal!

    This just begs for more details!!! Please ?
    #20