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Old 01-06-2011, 04:08 PM   #1
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Removal of Metal Implants in Leg after 30 years???

I've had a 7 inch metal plate implanted 30 years ago. It is attached to my Fibula and has never been a problem ...until now. I've suffered a very minor stress fracture on my fibula underneath the metal plate. The fracture is healing nicely.

I've had 2 orthopedic surgeons suggest that I have it removed, and a third said that I should avoid it if possible.

My concern is that the bone underneath the plate has not been subjected to the impact of weight bearing exercises all these years and the bone may be thinning. The doctor had no input concerning my theory.

Should I have the plate and 4 screws removed?

Kevin

 
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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Re: Removal of Metal Implants in Leg after 30 years???

Metal implants make for weakened bone underneath. I have bi-lateral knee implants and I've watched through x-rays as the bone behind the implants losses calcium and get weaker. Eventually, they will have to go in and replace the implant as it will come loose.

But I also have titanium rods in my neck and they are off the surface of the spine allowing for some movement and flexibility of my neck, therefore building stronger bone than if I had plates and screws in my neck as most do with fused necks.

So I've seen what plates can do and I'd vote for removal with a careful course of PT after to strengthen the leg muscles and add weight to the area....basically giving the bone the extra weight it needs to re-build the bone. With full body weight and added weights, it should regain the lost calcium it needs to stay strong.

That stress fracture is a sign that you have osteoporosis in that very limited area. I wonder if any osteoporosis drugs could be used to speed it up? Another possibility.

Anyhow, you might want to talk to a physiatrist....doctor of physical therapy and rehabilitation. They would know best.

good luck..............Jenny

 
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:31 AM   #3
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Re: Removal of Metal Implants in Leg after 30 years???

Thank you Jenny!

I've just learned more about my condition from reading your reply than from the 3 orthopedic surgeons that i visisted. It all makes sence.

Did you have the metal in your knees removed?

Kevin

 
Old 01-07-2011, 01:08 PM   #4
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Re: Removal of Metal Implants in Leg after 30 years???

I can't have it removed or I'd have no knees. I am stuck! They are my knees now and the only knees I'll ever have with be plastic and metal. I may be able to get rid of the titanium in my neck when they go back in to do some more work but that won't be for a while and the big question will be can they get them out? You are lucky....yours seem to be accessible.

good luck...........Jenny

 
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:15 PM   #5
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Re: Removal of Metal Implants in Leg after 30 years???

Good luck! i hope they can remove it without a problem.

Kevin

 
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