why aren’t metal plates removed when the bones are fully healed?

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why aren’t metal plates removed when the bones are fully healed?

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Depending on the severity of the original injury there’s sometimes concerns that the bones will never fully recover and it’s best to just leave the reinforcement in place indefinitely.

It’s also another surgery with another recovery and more risk – only worth doing if there’s good reason to remove the plate.

there is no need to remove them. They strengthen the bone and removing them would do more damage.

Every surgery has its risk: narcosis, infections – also costs. If metal plates do not interfere with the body, there is need to surgically remove them.

There are risks with any operation. Not only can the surgeon make mistakes but you can get dangerous infections through the incision which can cause even more issues. In any case you need time for the second surgery to heal including the bones where it attached to the plates. And in a lot of cases there is no issues leaving the hardware in place inside the body, it is certainly less of a problem then a surgery to remove it would be.

There are however cases where the hardware is causing issues and needs to be removed. Especially for smaller bones or fractures near joints it is not that uncommon to attach the plates to other pieces of bone then the ones that are fractured. This helps keep everything in place while it is healing. However it does limit the movement of the limbs so it needs to be removed, or at least part of it needs to be removed. There may still be hardware left inside the body after such a surgery, for example it is easier to just leave the screws in place and just remove the plate.

For what reason? You’re performing a costly invasive surgery on a person, cutting into them, risking infection, causing weeks of healing time for what benefit?