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nail removal after tibia spiral fracture (Page 2)

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September 3rd, 2010
Fractured tib/fib september of 2008 playing americian football and had the nail and 4 screws (3 lower, 1 upper) inserted. Have had persistant pain when running (even jogging) from lower screws, location of fracture, middle of bone away from break, and upper screw, though i have managed to play two more seasons after the surgery. I have elected to have all hardware removed in hopes of reducing any pain stemming from the metal, my operation is scheduled for 4 days from now, i will report on how things go. side note, i am American but the injury occured while playing in Finland and both operations were/will be in Finland as well.
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replied September 16th, 2010
i got my nail put in feb 2010 wondering about removeal reading all this makes it hurt think i stop reading
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replied September 20th, 2010
Hey Im about two weeks out for getting my rod and screws removed, and so far I am extremely happy i did it. Already there is no pain anywhere in my leg, and within about 5 days from the operation i was walking around without pain or even a limp. My legs feels better than it ever has since breaking it, and I know every surgery involves certain risks, but I am 100% happy with my decision to have my hardware removed!
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replied October 14th, 2010
I am 36 years old. Crashed riding my mountain-bike and fractured tib & fib 9/26/09. Had a rod put in from knee to ankle with 3 screws at the ankle and 2 at the knee. Within 8 months of the accident with the hardware in, I was running about 25 miles a week without difficulty. However, doing normal things like getting dressed, one of the screws was poking me in the back of the knee. So, I had all the hardware removed 10/06/10. I was able to bare weight for very short distances on the day of the removal. Two days following the removal, I did not need crutches at all. My ankle and knee are still sore and stiff. I hope to better in 3 weeks!
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replied November 7th, 2010
Removal of Tibial nail and screws
I am now 50 years of age, and had my tibial nail and screws removed on October 29th. The original injury - 5 spiral fractures of the tib and fib occurred on October 5th 2005. All I did was fall down 3 stairs inside my home (doing a 360 spin in the process).
I have spent the last week on crutches but today I walked, still heavily strapped, solo.
There is still a bit of pain and limitation around the knee area. I did get to see the wounds, after re-strapping. I get my stitches out on Wednesday and look forward to a speedy recovery.

A week ago I wondered at my decision to have it removed. Today I know it was the best thing and just wish I hadn't left it so long.
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replied December 9th, 2010
IM Nail (Tibial)
Hi Guys, I suffered a Compund tib + Fib fracture in Jan 2010 while playing football, I was operated on and the IM nail was inserted along with 4 screws, two at my knee and 2 at my ankle. The latter were removed within 2 months of the original surgery. The screws at my knee remained and have caused my huge amounts of discomfort (I cant kneel, heck, even if sumone brushes by my knee i feel pain), this is due to the screws being soo close to the surface of the skin(Its almost as if they will pierce the skin at any moment!). Anyway, im due in for a 3rd surgery in late Jan 2011 as i want to get back into playin football and that is not possible whilst the metalwork remains in my leg. I will report back on what will hopefully have been a successful operation.
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replied December 9th, 2010
Community Volunteer
Hi TheNumber9 and welcome to ehealth: Sounds like you and Jim Leonard of the Jets had somewhat the same kind of injury....What is so interesting is that you guys can't wait until you heal to go back for more....I know, I had a son just like you....Good luck with the surgery and let us know how things are coming...Take care...

Caroline
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replied December 9th, 2010
IM Nail
Caroline..Im 19, and just to give you a clearer picture of the injury, both my fibula and tibia snapped out the skin and the bottom half of my leg was at 90 degrees to the rest of my leg(So, not pleasant). The only reason i am determined to half the metalwork removed is due to the constant discomfort at my knee. Also despite my enthusiasm, i am cautious about getting back into playing.
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replied December 11th, 2010
Hey everyone !

Back in 2005(i was 17) i broke my Tibia in 3 pieces and had to place a rod after two failed casts.. 2 screws at the ancle and 2 below the knee.

Right after the surgery i was sort of 70% numb just around the scar and beside the knee. It got a little better after a while, but the skin around there is still kind of numb/tickly when touching it.

Aside from that i haven't had any issues. But lately i have started to have two wierd sensations. Just around the screws in the ancle i can feel my pulse. It also feels like it's straining to push blood through down there. It's annoying, and i have to twist my leg or walk around to make it go away. This is just sometimes though, usually while sitting.

The other thing is that my entire right thigh gets numb. I can still use my leg like normal, but it's completely numb, and before it goes numb it starts to tickle with a stinging feeling. I'm sure you all have felt this while sitting on a leg or sleeping in a wierd position Smile

After the stinging sensation goes away i can pinch myself and almost not feel a thing.
This can happen when standing upright, sitting or laying down. It's usually worst while lying down.

Pretty sure this is from the screws and the rod. I can run, jump or do whatever. My leg is not restricted. But i am contemplating on getting it removed because above reasons.


Just thought i'd share some since reading all your posts. Very informative, and thank you !
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replied January 13th, 2011
Scheduled to have upper screw and tibial nail removed next Tuesday (Jan.1Cool.
Had compound tib/fib fracture in January 09, and chronic leg and knee pain since. Nervous about the procedure, but will report back the progress.
Fingers well crossed.
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replied January 24th, 2011
tib/fib break snowboarding
i broke my tib/fib last feb and had an IM rod inserted and 4 screws. I'm having lots of pain in my knee, specifically to the below right of the scar (anterior). And its also completely numb round there. I can sqaut or run as it hurts so much. I'm due to have an mri to see if they can see what the problem is. Any ideas? They also advise for me to have the rob out. As sometime that eases anterior knee pain but they don't know why. Anyone had similar experience?
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replied January 24th, 2011
UPDATE:

I had my IM rod and screws removed 6 days ago after two years (almost to the day) of discomfort (at the knee, ankle, and break-point).

The surgery (apparently) went well. Surgeon said the nail was in there pretty good and didn't want to come out, but by the time I woke up, the nail was out and aside from some post-surgical bleeding issues, I felt OK.

Now, a week later, I am walking without crutches or cane, and while there is pain and numbness around the knee, I haven't felt any of the pain that was associated with the nail.

I look forward to improvements this week and will report back in another week.

ps. EmilyFlorence - I had a very similar experience to you re: pain around knee and numbness, hence the nail removal. I don't yet know how my knee will feel, but two years of no running or jumping (v-ball) was too much for me.
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replied January 25th, 2011
rod removal/knee pain
Thanks Josh. It's crazy, I cant find anything on the net about rod removal and the link to knee pain. This is the best site I've found! I really hope it clears up the pain and you can get back to running. It's so weird isnt it, I look at people out jogging and get sooo jealous. And I just really hope I can snowboard again - but that involves constantly squatting(!) Let me know how it heals and if you can start doing stuff. Do you think it might be nerve damage the pain and the numbness? have the dr's ever said?
p.s apologies for rubbish grammar in last mail! was typing in a rush..
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replied January 26th, 2011
Hi, I broke my tib/fib black friday 2008 in a car accident. I just had the two lower screws removed 3 months ago hoping to ease the pain I am having right where the bones were broke. so far it made no difference. I am hoping to be able to run and jump again. This is a great forum but it seems no one follows up months after surgery. it all sounds good getting the rod removed right after surgery and maybe a week or 2, but does anyone have further out results say months or years. my doctor doesn't recommend rod removal so I am very confused, it is my last resort to ease the pain, so any help will be greatly appreciated, thanks everyone
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replied November 10th, 2011
Tib/Fib Rod and screw removal
I broke both my tib/fib (spiral) and had IM rod with 2 screws at ankle and 1 at knee. I believed healing would be 4-6 months and hoped full recovery. At 11 months, I have irratic pain at ankle where screws are, point of break and area near knee. I tried to get back to my active life but can't. Even walking too much or uphill is too painful.

I am still using my good leg for most of the "work". It is especially hard because I am very active and moving all the time (never owned a tv) kind of a gal.. know what you mean about being jealous of people in action. I cancelled my snowboarding trips last season and this season isn't looking good so I am looking at options of how to get the leg back.

Removing the screws is one step towards the discomfort but not sure if the numbness and irratic pain will ever go. I was told the break itself and the surgery are both traumas and they did not recommend removing the rod, only the screws. They said removing the rod is for the purpose of "just wanting to" and not for medically recommended reason. I can't help but blame the foreign objects in my leg for the cause of all this pain and the hope of maybe getting better if everything was removed.

I am scheduling surgery to remove all 3 screws and see if the pain/discomfort goes away. I will report back. I am so nervous but hopeful.
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replied November 10th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
lovetheoutdoors,

You state that you have numbness, in addition to the discomfort. But, you do not say where the numbness is located.

If you have numbness around the scars, especially just below and to the outside of the one just below the patella, that area of numbness will never go away. It occurs in almost 100% of patients who have that incision made. There is a small branch of the infrapatellar nerve that runs right across the incision site, and is invariably transected during surgery. So, that oval area is always numb.

It is also very common to have areas of numbness around the stab wounds where the interlocking screws were placed. Again, if that is where your numbness is, it will not go away.


However, if you are having other areas of numbness, especially if it is associated with a burning type of pain in the same region, you should notify your surgeon of that. As numbness in dermatomal patterns can be from compression of a peripheral nerve or on a nerve root in the spine.


As to removing the nail taking your pain away, there is no research that has shown this to be the case. In cases where the nail is proud, broken, impinging on soft tissues, or is in some way producing reproduceable symptoms, then removal of the nail usually helps.

But, to just take it out "because", or because you can see it on x-ray, is usually not a very successful surgery.

Removal of the interlocking screws is recommended, because they can irritate the soft tissues around them. But, to remove the IM nail requires a significant operation. The screws can even be removed under local in the office in some cases, though most patients do prefer to have some sedation in the operating room. But, that nail is a very different story.

If you are having infrapatellar knee pain already, this would probably make that worse. In most patients with knee pain after an IM nailing of the tibia, it is due to irritation of the infrapatellar fat pad, that was caused during the insertion of the nail.

To take the nail out, requires going back through the same incision, causing more damage and irritation of the fat pad and patellar tendon.

So, in most cases, it is recommended that you have the interlocking screws removed and see how things go. Often, by dynamizing the nail, the load sharing properties on the tibia are reestabilshed and the aching pain in the fracture site goes away.

If, however, you still just have to have the nail removed, so be it. That is your call. But, just be sure to go into the surgery with realistic expectations.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.


Again, if you are having numbness and burning pain in regions other than around the incision sites, and it is in a dermatomal pattern, you need to advise your surgeon of this. You may have an entrapped nerve peripherally or a compressed nerve in the spine.

Good luck with what ever you decide to do.
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replied December 15th, 2011
screws removed from tibia rod
yes, the numbness is the area near, below and to the outside of the scar in the knee where the incision was made to insert the rod. This is expected my orig surgeon said. Thanks for the concern though.

I went to a different orthopedic surgeon to get more input, someone who works with athletes and treats traumas to the leg like what happened to me on a daily basis. I felt more comfortable at this large facility that had a dedicated trauma team. My concern is to do all the best things possible at this time of recovery to be back to my active lifestyle without setbacks.

I just had all 3 interlocking screws removed from my tibia last week. I did not have any nails. It was outpatient surgery with anesthesia. I was able to walk out with a limp after waking up from the surgery. For the first few days, very sore. I am going in to get stitches removed next week. I can already feel the relief (esp the screw on the front ankle that bothered me the most).

I did have a brief conversation about my concern for the rod, but the doctor said let's just remove the screws for now and see what happens. I was told maybe 6 weeks for the screw hole to fill back and need to start pushing through some of the pain to regain more strength. Snowboarding lightly is possible in 4-8 weeks.

I will report back.
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replied December 15th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
lovetheoutdoors,

Sounds like taking out the interlocking screws will help quite a bit. It is not uncommon for them to rub and cause irritation, especially around the distal tibia.

Just a note for clarity. The long piece of metal down the inside of the tibia is the IntraMedullary nail. The term rod is often used in place of nail. They mean the same thing. So, IM nail and IM rod can be use interchangably.

The reason for the two terms, is that the IM nail is actually hollow. There are rods, which are solid. So, usually, nail is used for the bigger IM devices that are hollow, and rod is used for the solid ones. But, again, they are completely interchangable.

Also, sometimes you will see patients refer to the interlocking screws as pins. These two terms are really not interchangable. Pins are straight metal pieces which do not have threads, which are just drilled into the bone. Of course, screws have threads.


Yea, it takes about 6 weeks for the screw holes to fill in. The holes are stress risers, which make it easier for the bone to break in those places. Just like perforations on a piece of paper, make it easier to tear the paper in that place. So, it is probably best to let those fill in before you do anything stressful on the leg.


Have a great time snowboarding. Good luck.
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replied February 8th, 2012
Removal of screws
It has been 2 months since removal of screws. I am walking better and back in the gym but still cannot run and the leg is still lagging behind the good leg.... I realize people heal differently. I am in more aggressive physical therapy now. I am glad the screws were taken out but was expecting a full recovery by now. It could always be worse but I remain hopeful to be better or closer to being able do everything before the fracture.
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replied June 9th, 2012
It's been 6 months since removal of 3 screws. Nail left in place. I have been in intensive physical therapy. There is still some pain around the original tibia break. Some days are better than others. The knee is still numb. I cannot run. I can sort of jog w/a limp. My walk is almost normal. Strength exercises have helped. I feel the removal of the screws helped the most with being able to flex the ankle and improve walking. I still cannot land on the leg after jumping, or pull myself up on that leg without using my arms. I cannot hop on one foot except land flat-footed. Still improved since the original break Jan 2011.

I wonder if I should have insisted on having the rod removed 6 months ago when I had the screws removed. My orthopedic surgeon does not want to discuss removing the nail unless I am having worse problems or extreme pain. What I am going through now is being looked at as typical in both healing after surgery and the after math of a spiral tib/fib fracture. I have explained to him that I have a very active lifestyle and need to be able to go back to hiking, snowboarding, running, etc..

I appreciate all the posts and similar stories...
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replied June 9th, 2012
6 months after removal of 3 screws
It's been 6 months since removal of 3 screws. Nail left in place. I have been in intensive physical therapy. There is still some pain around the original tibia break. Some days are better than others. The knee is still numb. I cannot run. I can sort of jog w/a limp. My walk is almost normal. Strength exercises have helped. I feel the removal of the screws helped the most with being able to flex the ankle and improve walking. I still cannot land on the leg after jumping, or pull myself up on that leg without using my arms. I cannot hop on one foot except land flat-footed. Still improved since the original break Jan 2011.

I wonder if I should have insisted on having the rod removed 6 months ago when I had the screws removed. My orthopedic surgeon does not want to discuss removing the nail unless I am having worse problems or extreme pain. What I am going through now is being looked at as typical in both healing after surgery and the after math of a spiral tib/fib fracture. I have explained to him that I have a very active lifestyle and need to be able to go back to hiking, snowboarding, running, etc..

I appreciate all the posts and similar stories...
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replied December 17th, 2011
Tib/Fib fx, Tibial Nailing, Knee pain
Gaelic,

You seem to have a lot of knowledge about Tibial nailing, which is so great for everyone looking for some additional info.

I am having a lot of knee pain after my Tib/Fib fx with IM Nailing 8 months post. surgery. I had screw removed closest to the knee 10 days ago. But, I'm convinced now with all the pain, that the screw wasn't the problem. My OS told my wife that he thought the pain might all be in my head!! So frustrating. The reason he said this, is because he doesn't think "my knee pain" is the "typical anterior knee pain". My knee pain is not just below the knee but just medial to the knee. It's deep in there, hard to pinpoint the exact location. It only hurts with full weight on it, and of course walking. Running is out of the question. Just before he took out the screws, the OS pumped my knee full of steroid. Which helped for a couple of weeks, until he took out the screws, now it hurts just as bad as ever.

There is some swelling on both sides of the patella. I feel like there is something going on in the knee that wasn't related to the screw, but according to the OS, it's not the typical pain, so he doesn't believe me! Can you help give me some advice?

Thanks, Gilly
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replied December 18th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
illy,

Usually, but not always, the kne pain that most patients get from an IM nail being placed is located in the inferior patellar fatpad, just below the kneecap.

When the incision is made at the proximal tibia, the surgeon tries not to violate the knee joint capsule. But, the fat pad just underneath the patellar tendon (which is outside of the joint capsule) does get manipulated quite a bit. Sometimes, it will become inflammed and scar. Thus, these patients get the patellar tendonitis type of pain, usually located around the patellar tendon and just beneath it.

This is one reason the technique for insertion of the nail changed a few years back. When it originally came out, the nail was place directly through the patellar tendon. A longitudinal slit was made along the fibers, they were spred apart, and the nail inserted right through the center of the tendon. But, there was a high rate of patellar tendonitis afterwards. So, the technique changed, so that the nail is now place just to one side (usually medial) of the tendon.

But, some patients do develop generalized knee pain. Sometimes it is due to the knee joint being violated during the procedure. Again, this can cause inflammation and irritate the inside of the knee. In most patients this does decrease in severity as the inflammation calms down. But, again, in some patients it does become chronic.


With the symptoms you describe, deep medial knee pain and occasional swelling on both sides of the patella, those are typical signs/symptoms of anterior knee pain (also called patellofemoral syndrome, retropatellar pain syndrome, chondromalacia). Usually with this condition, patients will also complain of increased pain with walking down stairs or ladders, sitting with their knees bent for long periods (like in a lecture or movie), doing squats, or working on the leg station of the weight machine. The pain is worse with activity and usually gets better with rest.


So, your pain could be from anterior knee pain, but if you did not have it before the nailing, the nailing is probably what brought it on. So little is known about the actual cause of anterior knee pain. No one knows exactly what its underlying etiology and pathophysiology are. It just seems to be very common in adolescents and young adults, especially those who are active. It is probably just as prevelant in the older population, but since their activity level is so much lower, they don't usually complain of it.


The pain is NOT in your head, it is in your knee.


Unfortunately, the knee pain that is caused by an IM nailing is like that of anterior knee pain, there isn't a simple solution to either one. There is no surgery that will take it away. Antiinflammatory medicine, certain exercises to keep the VMO strong, a neoprene knee sleeve, avoiding sitting with the knee bent, avoiding other activities which really bother the knee, are about the only things that can be done. Most patients who do these things get to a point that they can live with the pain. In most patients, as they get older, the pain goes away or at least decreases to a point that it doesn't really bother them much anymore.


However, if your knee gets worse, develops other symptoms, or is just too much of a bother that you can't dell with it, do seek out another opinion.

Sometimes the surgeon who does the initial surgery looks only at the results of the fracture care. In that light, the surgery worked well. So, if there is some residual problems, so what, the fracture is healed. Sometimes a fresh look at the situation is needed. You may have to go see someone else.


Again, the pain is real, it is not in your head and you are not making it up.


Good luck.
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replied December 19th, 2011
Gaelic,

Thank you so much for your help. My problem is that I am very active, not just in life but in work. I am a fireman and all this knee pain and limp makes it hard to work at such an active job. I was also a marathon runner prior to the injury. It is depressing to think that this injury could limit me possibly for the rest of my life.

Even with that, I am thankful that my bone is healed and I can walk, even if it is with pain. I actually am very thankful for my life as a fire hose got out of control and the metal tip whipped around and clipped me in the leg. It could have very easily hit me in the head. So, I'm very thankful for my life. I just don't feel my dr. has been very understanding of my job or my pain. BTW, he told me I could go back to work at any time (while my leg was still very broke) saying that the rod was strong enough and it would be ok. Knowing my job isn't behind a desk, but a fireman!

This has been interesting to say the least.

Thanks again.
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replied December 19th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
Gilly,

Yea, telling you to return to a very impact loading job right after the nail was put in, was not too bright. If you had a desk job, that would be one thing, but that nail is not that strong.

The nails that are used in the tibia, can be bent with your bare hands. They are hollow, and slotted in the posterior aspect. So, they are basically just internal splints, there until the bone heals.

It is also a race, between the bone healing and the nail breaking. Due to the cyclic loading of the nail with walking, jogging, etc, if the bone does not heal promptly, the nail will break. Just like a paper clip bent one too many times.

I have unfortunately had to take out a few broken nails, when the patients got in a bit of a hurry and started doing impact activities before the bone was healed. They are a !**@! to get out. And, the patient starts over at square one.


As to your knee pain, you might try one of the neoprene knee sleeves. They make several types. Some have a cutout for the kneecap, some have straps that go around the patella to help hold it in place. The key, is to just find one that is comfortable for you. You don't really need the big, custom made, expensive, high speed, low drag, ACL braces. Just find one the fits you, and is comfortable.

Also, try to avoid the activities that really bother the knee. You can't avoid the stairs or ladders, being a fireman, but be aware that when you use them, your knee will probably hurt. You really aren't doing any internal damage to the knee, but it is a pain to put up with. But, knowing that you will probably have it in certain settings, will help you prepare for it.

Also, if you don't have to squat, don't, sit down instead. Move your knees around every so often when you are in a movie or lecture. Don't use the knee extension station on the weight machine.

It sort of becomes a lifestyle after a while. Also, keep the VMO quad very strong, doing short arc quad exercises.


Good luck. Hope you can still be a firefighter like you want to be.
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replied February 19th, 2011
Tib/Fib fracture IM Nail removal?
I agree. Great info, but please follow up after the rod removal!!!! I'm debating having it done. I broke my Tib/Fib and had IM Nail fixation in June 2007. I had the distal screws removed in 2008, but I'm still unable to run without pain and stiffness in that leg. This injury has destroyed my career as a military officer and I'm pending medical separation... wondering if removal of the rod would help me run again. If anyone has any post surgery stats, please post.
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replied March 8th, 2011
OK, sorry for the delay in updating.

It's been two months since my IM nail was removed.

BEST THING EVER!

I have NONE oc the pain that led to having the nail removed. No bone pain, or joint pain (knee or ankle). I have been running, playing badminton, and am pretty much on it all day everyday. NO pain.

Surgery was great. Could have been in and out in 6 hours, but had a hematoma which delayed me for a few hours. Was walking without crutches at the 5 day mark, had almost no pain by about the 3 week mark.

That being said . . . there is a little bit of nerve damage from surgery. The outside of my knee is numb. Where the upper screw was removed there is some scar tissue that can be a bit tender if bumped. Kneeling isn't really comfortable yet (but it wasn't really before either).

I'm THRILLED with the results.

If you have specific questions about my experience, feel free to e-mail me.
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replied August 13th, 2011
Hey Josh,
I just removed my nail two days ago. How is your discomfort in your knee now and how soon could u walk normally? I wish can can fast forward the next month. I am currently limping for a short distance ie to the toilet
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replied March 21st, 2011
Hi there, I'm so glad i found this website!!

I had a compund fracture of my tibia and broke my fibula back in 2002 when i fell whilst walking in the outback in Australia. I had a tibia nail inserted and it took around a year a two to fully recover. I was then able to ski but have never done much running because of the pain when i ran. Anyway it was fine for a good few years until i started quite a busy training programme at the gym early last year. Anyway by last May i was in pain so the surgeon recommended taking out the three screws which were causing me discomfort. he said that if this didn't work he would take out the nail even though he was quite reluctant to do this. In October i had the screws removed amd now i have more pain than i had before but in different places. I have had two follow up appointments with a different consultant, who suggests that we now take the nail out and i am waiting to see the original surgeon to see what he says, as he wasn't as keen to this removal when we spoke prior to having the screws removed.

I'm so nervous about having the nail out after so long.

Has anybody else had a nail out after 9 years!!

Thanks
Sarah
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replied March 21st, 2011
Especially eHealthy
Sarahsoreleg,

Technically, the nail can be taken out any time, but the question is, if in taking it out, will that reduce your pain significantly.

In taking the nail out, the surgeon will have to go back through the original incision at the knee. Most stainless steel and chrome-cobalt nails come out fairly easily. The newer titanium nails tend to ingrow more and can cause some problems with their removal.

It also depends on where your pain is. If it is knee pain, then removing the nail may actually make that worse. As stated before, to get the nail out, they have to reopen the incision at the knee. Though the true synovial cavity of the knee may not be violated, the fat pad and patellar tendon are manipulated. This may cause inflammation, further scaring, and/or discomfort.

Since you say the bone has healed well, the pain is not likely to be from a nonunion. However, remember, you had an open fracture (by definition, in a compound fracture the skin is broken and the bone is exposed to the outside environment. They are now called open fractures.) These have a higher rate of infection. (In the past, the majority of these were treated with amputation and currently, many still are, if infection becomes a problem.) Have the surgeons ruled out an indolent infection? Many of these cause pain at the fracture site as the only symptom, they do not manifest as systemic problems. But, often blood tests, CT scan, MRI, bone scan, etc can be used to see if this is the problem.

If there is no infection, you also have to understand that you injured more than just the bone. The periosteum, muscles, fibrous tissue, skin, all had significant trauma. They all heal with scar tissue (except the bone). Your discomfort may be coming from the injuries to these structures.

Removal of hardware is a very controversial subject in orthopedics. You have doctors at both extremes, but most sit in the middle. If the hardware isn't causing any problems, it doesn't need to come out. They also feel, that in the majority of cases where the hardware is removed only for pain, it doesn't help much. Don't get me wrong, hardware is taken out every day for pain issues. It's usually the last resort. The patient and surgeon agree to take it out to see what happens.

Ask honest questions of yourself - try to determine exactly where, and when, the pain is the worst. Then discuss everything with your surgeon. You and he/she are in the best position to make the right choice for you.

Wishing the best. Good luck.
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replied March 21st, 2011
Thanks very much for reply. I have never experienced pain in the knee, the pain is around the screw removal sites and also the front of the lower leg is quite tender sometimes but not really where the compound fracture site was. It's such a big decision!!
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replied March 21st, 2011
Especially eHealthy
Sarahsoreleg,

Unfortunately, it is. But, discuss it with your surgeons and be sure to bring up all your concerns. The more information you have, the better to make an informed decision. Good luck.
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