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Need Wisdom on Broken Ankles and removal of hardware
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erock_777


Feb 27, 2015, 9:03 PM
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Need Wisdom on Broken Ankles and removal of hardware
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I had a climbing injury on September 4, 2014 which resulted in a tri-malear fracture and dislocated ankle. I had surgery to repair the fracture which included the addition of a metal plate, 2 screws and about 8 pins. I have been in recovery ever since, going to Physical Therapy at least once a week and doing my exercises every day at home. I just had another follow up visit with my surgeon who recommended that the hardware come out (not quite yet, but probably in another 6-8 months or approximately one year after the surgery).

This has been the absolute worst injury I have sustained to date and the recovery process is painful and heartbreaking. I am just now starting to get back onto the rock (barely climbing 5.6's on TR).

I was hoping someone else out there may have had a similar experience and can tell me the pro's and con's of keeping hardware vs. having it removed. I am hoping that by the time August rolls around, I will be a lot closer to climbing at the grade I was before the injury and I don't know if I can handle an additional 3-6 months of recovery with no climbing again.
But on the flip side, I don't want to be 5 years down the road with hardware that is giving me chronic problems.

Any wisdom is greatly appreciated!!


onceahardman


Feb 28, 2015, 2:16 PM
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Re: [erock_777] Need Wisdom on Broken Ankles and removal of hardware [In reply to]
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Trimalleolar fracture is a devastating injury.

Please try to keep perspective on this. The surgeon knows where the hardware is, and whether it is likely to cause trouble, long-term. On the other hand, if you have no pain (unlikely, but possible) you might ask the surgeon why the hardware needs to come out. Its a fair question to ask.

You didn't state your age. Please remember this ankle/foot needs to carry you for a lifetime. You might want to play with your kids someday, and would prefer to not limp around, unable to walk without a cane or other assistive device.

If you are a candidate for hardware removal, that probably means you have had good bony union. That is a good thing.

Good luck, stay in touch!


granite_grrl


Mar 1, 2015, 3:17 PM
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Re: [erock_777] Need Wisdom on Broken Ankles and removal of hardware [In reply to]
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I did not have the same injury as you, but I did have a femur rod and two pins removed. It made a huge difference for me, I ways I didn't even realize they were bothering me.

My doctor left it to me to have the hardware removed, and like I said, I'm so glad I did! If your doctor is recommending it for you then I think you'll really appreciate getting it out in the long run.


Partner camhead


Mar 3, 2015, 1:18 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Need Wisdom on Broken Ankles and removal of hardware [In reply to]
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A couple years ago a climbing fall resulted in a Lisfranc dislocation/disruption, along with a few of the metatarsals fracturing. I wound up getting two screws and five pins put in my foot during the surgery. Initially, my doctor said that they would all stay in.

By about eight months after the injury, I was back to climbing, hiking, biking, and swimming. The hardware actually worked its way loose from just regular outdoor activity, and was incredibly painful as it would shift around, hitting nerves and such. My doctor was a bit taken back that it had done this. I wound up having it all removed, and am very glad to have it completely out. My foot is still not 100%– it aches on long hikes, is developing arthritis– but the hardware definitely did its job, and it was time for it to come out.


erock_777


Mar 26, 2015, 10:22 PM
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Re: [erock_777] Need Wisdom on Broken Ankles and removal of hardware [In reply to]
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THANK YOU all for your thoughts.

I am still undecided, but guess I have a little time since my next appointment is not until August. I'm starting to climb more regularly so we will see if the hardware becomes more of a hindrance or not.


dynobelay


Mar 27, 2015, 3:06 AM
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Re: [erock_777] Need Wisdom on Broken Ankles and removal of hardware [In reply to]
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I shattered my heel. There was a L shaped plate with screws in. The Doc said they would just leave it in, recovery would be a year. After a year I asked to have it removed. It was giving me fits every time I hiked on side slopes.
I climb and hike fine now. Although after long or rough days of hiking I do feel sore for a brief spell the next morning.
Keep in mind; the recovery from hardware removal is not nearly as long as from the original surgery. Basically just long enough for the skin wound to heal.


(This post was edited by dynobelay on Mar 27, 2015, 4:46 AM)


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