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Introduction
Orthopedic surgeons use implants for a variety of surgical procedures. Metal Implants can help broken bones heal in the correct alignment. These implants actually help in holding the broken pieces of the bones in the proper position. Implants include metal plates and screws, pins, and intramedullary rods inserted into the cavity of a bone.

The actual method of removing an implant is advanced in itself. This is especially true of deep implants that have been in place for a long period of time. Fractures are bound to occur soon after surgery as the weakened bone may collapse into the spaces of the drilled holes, particularly in weight-bearing bones of the leg or hip. There can be risks of infection, nerve injury, and anesthesia reaction. The removal of an implant might weaken the bone or fail to alleviate the pain.

Need for Implant Removal
The implants are typically designed to remain in the body forever, but there are instances when their removal may be considered appropriate. The removal of these implants might be required if there are indications like,

  • Metal irritation, including pain
  • Pressure at the insertion site
  • Infection at the insertion site

In children, the removal of the implants early might be necessary so as to avoid disturbances to the growing skeleton. It is also done for the following reasons,

  • To prevent the bony ingrowth from making the removal impossible at a later stage
  • To allow planned reconstructive surgery after skeletal maturation.

Some of the signs that indicate there are problems with the implant are:

  • Pain at the location of the metal implant
  • Metal implant rubbing against other surfaces underneath the skin
  • Grinding sensations around the metal implant
  • The fractured bone heals incorrectly
  • The fractured bone doesn’t heal

Procedure
The patient will be administered general anesthesia so as to make them sleep throughout the procedure. The surgery might take a couple of hours.

The surgeon will now make a new incision using the old scars. In some cases, the incisions might be made larger to remove all of the implant hardware present.

Once the implant hardware is removed, there will be a hole or a gap present in the bone, for instance, by removing the screws will leave behind holes where the screws were present earlier. The area around these holes might be slightly weaker than the rest of the area and the bone can break easily after a fall. The bone will grow new bone and fill this hole but it will take time.

The doctors would recommend the patient from doing any contact sports for at least 1-2 months after the implant removal surgery, in order to reduce the risk of further breaking of bones.

Post Procedure
The patient might have to keep the dressing dry and clean for a couple of weeks, usually until the next follow-up appointment. The doctor will remove the dressing if the wound has healed.

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