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Old 02-04-2011, 08:56 PM   #1
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Ankle hardware removal

I had a trimalleolar ankle fracture one year ago, underwent an ORIF, two plates 10 screws (8 small ones, 2 big ones-screws). I have done all PT and have been left with less ROM that affects my everyday activities and pain everyday, all day. I cannot even exercise on the eliptical and walk normally afterwards. Xrays show bones are aligned perfectly and no infection is a concern. Due to the fact that I have a job that requires very heavy lifting and physical activity much beyond the eliptical...I am having hardware removal surgery at the end of this month. My question is, what is the recovery like? How long does it take to get back to heavy lifting/hard physical exertion? Has anyone had good results with regaining ROM or pain relief? In concerns to full recovery I've heard everything from two days to three months. My PT didn't even know...

 
Old 02-21-2011, 11:55 AM   #2
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Re: Ankle hardware removal

It has been 6 days since surgery. No complications during. I still cannot walk and cannot move my ankle in a circle. Pain is a lot better today, but I havn't been putting weight on it. Thought I'd be walking sooner, but I'm trying to have patience. I've noticed there are no two similar injuries but others experiences help if anyone wants to share there hardware removal experience.

 
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:38 AM   #3
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Re: Ankle hardware removal

I am scheduled for hardware removal on Friday of this week. I had an ankle fusion done and have a plate down the front of my leg and down the right side of my leg which will be removed. I have had just screws removed in the past but no plates. I have been told I will be in a cast for 2 weeks - nonweightbearing and then into the boot for 2 more weeks.

I am kinda anxious about this surgery - but I am told it will definitely be easier than the last one - the fusion. Hopefully this is the last time they will have to cut my foot - this is the 7th surgery.

 
Old 05-01-2011, 02:18 PM   #4
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Re: Ankle hardware removal

I have never had a reduction in pain since hardware removal surgery expect some minor sharp pain in the medial and lateral malleolus. My range of motion is severely limited still. My inversion/eversion is the worse, with dorsiflexion being 2nd worse (neutral) I am still doing 3x a week physical therapy and pain has persisted through it all. My hardware removal surgery was Feb 16th. Its May 1st. I was diagnosed with post traumatic arthritis and have a CT to rule out additional issues. So to be continued...

 
Old 05-01-2011, 02:20 PM   #5
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Re: Ankle hardware removal

The surgery was a lot easier than the original ORIF. A walk in the park really compared to it. I was only dissapointed because range of motion did not return and the pain is the same as before the surgery except as noted in the above post.

Last edited by Lemieux66; 05-01-2011 at 02:22 PM.

 
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:27 PM   #6
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Re: Ankle hardware removal

I'm going in on Tuesday to have hardware removed from a triple arthrodesis as it's causing the infection in the incision site. My surgeon reckons I'll be in for "a few days" to ensure the infection starts to go. He also said I will be weight bearing as tolerated, using crutches. Am a bit anxious but, hopefully this will put an end to 7 months of total frustration.

 
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:54 AM   #7
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Re: Ankle hardware removal

thanks to lemieuxx66 for posting info about your experience, im 4 days post-op form hardware removal, dont know medical terms the way you do, just know that i had a 2" inch screw that came loose from a 20 year old injury and it was ruining my life, after 3 years of suffering, i finally went to a ortho surgeon and he wanted to remove that very week, but i waited and put off for another month, i googled "recovering from hardware removal surgery" and your post popped up, i couldnt really tell if i was reading it in correct order or mostly if i had read your latest, my post-op said to try weight bearing after 48 hours, i cant even imagine starting to put any weight on yet, i wake at night in the most severe pain, i know its only been 4 days and my ankle had to actually be re-broken a small bit in order to remove the screw, and nothing was put back, so im just having a hard time comprehending how im supposed to walk, hopefully will all come back to me as i was only given 3 weeks off work, please keep posting...thanks from ky

 
Old 06-26-2011, 11:30 AM   #8
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Re: Ankle hardware removal

Well......I went in on May 3rd but woke after anaresthetic to learn that they hadn't removed it. My problem was scar tissue from the haematoma so they just debrided it, leaving me with a large open wound.

 
Old 06-28-2011, 12:14 PM   #9
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Re: Ankle hardware removal

You'll read varying degrees of differences when people begin weight bearing after hardware removal surgery. I think it's very individual, how much hardware, your pain tolerance, etc. You said that a piece of your bone was broken in the process I would imagine that you'de be NWB longer? I found out I had additional issues (OCD with 2, 3mm lesions) but hardware removal was something I don't regret, just dont expect pain to completely go away and especially ROM to return to 100%.

 
Old 07-01-2011, 10:01 AM   #10
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Re: Ankle hardware removal

This is a useful thread.

I had calcaneal ORIF 4 months ago. 3 months ago had a debridement for possible infection that turned up negative and 2.5 months ago got the infection the ortho was worried about at the surgical site which was debrided. The nature of the infection means I have to have the hardware removed to eliminate the chance of reinfection. Been on antibiotics for 2 months with one to go, then the hardware goes in surgery #4.

I'll be interested if there is any difference in my recovery, but it doesn't seem like the hardware is causing me any additional pain, but there is plenty of it which I guess is normal at this stage of recovery.

I'll post after the surgery with my experience.

 
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