I have to have the metal plate and screws removed from my arm....

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Posted 11/9/2010 by kkrenn in NSBR Board


PeaNut 304,808
March 2007
Posts: 914
Layouts: 3
Loc: SF Bay Area

Posted: 11/9/2010 6:35:37 PM
I found out that one of the screws is working its way out of the bone and my Orthopedic Surgeon says that all the hardware has to come out. I am so upset, I have RSD from having 5 surgeries on this wrist and now I have to have #6.

Of course he says that it will be super simple, they use the same incision, blah blah blah.

Has anyone had their hardware removed, what was your recovery like? How long were you down?

Thanks for letting me vent, my wonderful dh is sick of hearing it even though he won't admit it!



PeaNut 181,508
December 2004
Posts: 2,711
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Loc: CornValley, PNW

Posted: 11/9/2010 7:16:35 PM
I don't have any advice but wanted to send you hugs. I have a 10" plate and 12 screws in my leg and this is my worst fear. I really think that one of the screws at the top of my tibia (right below the knee joint) is working itself loose and it sucks.

I'll be watching your thread to see how others respond and to hopefully hear good news from your surgery and recovery.



"It's a dog eat dog world and we're all wearing milkbone underwear." ~Mike, Survivor Samoa


PeaNut 366,606
March 2008
Posts: 55
Layouts: 0

Posted: 11/9/2010 10:19:17 PM
I'm sorry to hear that. I have 6 screws and 1 plate in my arm, and while I would love to have my scar redone, I don't want the metal to come out. I have heard that it is very easy to re-break once they are removed until the screw holes have filled back in.

What were your symtoms?

Good luck!


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 274,935
August 2006
Posts: 5,850
Layouts: 8

Posted: 11/9/2010 10:22:27 PM
The screws can come out? I thought the screws would be covered over with bone eventually.


PeaNut 157,667
July 2004
Posts: 4,403
Layouts: 15
Loc: Upstate NY

Posted: 11/10/2010 6:03:23 AM
i had to have my hardware removed from my wrist. First off, they had put too long of screws in it and I could push them down from the top of my wrist. I, too, had developed RSD, so they felt that removing the hardware would help that in that there would be no hardware to rub on nerves. I did end up having to have 7 ganglion nerve blocks to reverse the RSD. I still don't have full mobility of my wrist, but, at least I don't have the RSD pain, thanks to the nerve blocks.


Mrs. Jason Pea Varitek

PeaNut 104,140
August 2003
Posts: 14,266
Layouts: 0
Loc: Kentucky

Posted: 11/10/2010 6:42:03 AM
I have two plates and 10 screws in my left arm. I never knew this could happen! Yikes. I feel for you because I would never want to have to go through a removal. How long ago did you have the hardware put in? I'm just wondering if there is a length of time until you're in the "safe zone" or if this can happen, even after a long time. I had my initial surgery about 20 years ago. Anyway, I wish you the best. I'm sure if the surgeon says it needs to come out, it's going to be for the best. Hang in there.



PeaNut 304,808
March 2007
Posts: 914
Layouts: 3
Loc: SF Bay Area

Posted: 11/10/2010 10:22:26 AM
I had the 14" plate and 7 screws installed in June of 2009 so only a little over a year.

About a month ago I noticed a very hard raised bump on the plate area and it is very painful so I went back to my Ortho to have it looked at and he told me that the screw is working its way out so the best thing to do is to have everything removed.

I was told before I had my wrist fused that the plate was in for life, I just didn't realize that meant the life of the screws and not my acutal life.

I had 2 Stellate Ganglion Blocks earlier this year and neither one worked, I am glad they worked for you Suz!

Thanks for the hugs! I have the surgery scheduled for 11/22 (I guess DH is going to cook Thanksgiving dinner for a 3rd year in a row!) and I will update once I can.

I was really hoping I could go a whole year without surgery! In November 2008 I had 3 bones removed from my wrist, within 6 months of that I had to have the wrist completely fused and now a year later I have to have the hardware removed. I hope this is it!


uniquer than you

PeaNut 101,300
August 2003
Posts: 6,227
Layouts: 65
Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted: 11/10/2010 11:03:06 AM
My son had hardware removed from his hip reconstruction surgery. It truly was a quick, easy operation and the recovery was amazingly fast for him. We did have to be cautious for about 6 months following, as the bone was weak, and the risk of fracture was a concern. But other than that, it was just an overnight stay, and then about 3 days at home until the incision was closed well, and he was back to usual routines. Very minimal pain medications too.

He got to keep his hardware, which was kind of fun to show off -- but then he's a kid, and telling people you had this assortment of metal screws and plates and brackets in you is apparently cool when you're in grade school.


CND Pea living close to the USA

PeaNut 273,904
August 2006
Posts: 11,072
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Loc: In my own universe :)

Posted: 11/10/2010 11:10:18 AM
My friend is an ortho-surgeon.


Please ignore my spelling mistakes

A proud Canadian Pea
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