5295921 tn?1366123817

Risks of surgery to remove tibia/fibula metal rods and screws?

Hi there,

I broke my leg in a bad skydiving landing and I have a lot of hardware around my right ankle. 2 metal rods and on both tibia and fibula, as well as a screw going through my malleolus?

The accident was 30 months ago and walking still hurts and I can't run. I'm 33 years old with moderate asthma, no drug allergies or other major medical issues.

How safe is the surgery to remove the metal hardware? I understand that surgery is never 100% and the worst cases are more pain, a permanent limp, amputation and death. What I'm mostly interested in is walking without pain, preferably with minimal limping. Running seems too ambitious.

How likely are those to happen? If you were in my situation, would you do it?

Best Answer
Avatar universal
Hi there! While I only had a nail in my tibia,plate & screws on my fibula & misc screws-I would highly recommend them coming out! Especially,if you want to attempt an active lifestyle. While there are risks with every surgey,& there is a slight chance of re breaking the bone removing the nail,the risks are low. I has all my hardware out & only used crutches for a very short period. While I ended up having issues with my ankle,eventually having it fused-having the initial hardware out alleviated a lot of my pain. Good luck!
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Avatar universal
I have hardware in my back after several back surgeries. I have been told that removing it could cause more pain and and weaken the bone that the screws are removed from, also there is a chance of adhesions (scar tissue) causing more pain in the area. For you if you've only had the one surgery and films show it to be a solid bone fusion I might think about it. In my case I am afraid of more scar tissue causing more pain. I tend to look at it as it could always be worse and wouldn't want to risk it. I hope someone else can offer you their view too.  Whatever you do I hope it works out well for you!
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