Hardware Removal Specialist

Ortho 1 Medical Group

Orthopedic Specialists located in La Jolla, CA & Chula Vista, CA

Orthopedic hardware is an essential part of repairing most fractures. When it’s time to have the hardware removed, you can depend on the skill and experience of the board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Ortho 1 Medical Group. If your hardware causes pain or discomfort, it was always intended to be temporary. If you have questions about hardware removal, call the office in La Jolla or Chula Vista, California, today or book an appointment online.

Hardware Removal Q&A

What is orthopedic hardware?

When repairing fractures or treating bone deformities like scoliosis, orthopedic surgeons implant hardware to hold the bones in their proper alignment and stabilize the area.

Orthopedic hardware is what you might expect. It includes:

  • Screws
  • Washers
  • Wires
  • Pins
  • Plates
  • Rods
  • Interlocking nails
  • Fixation devices
  • Bone-lengthening devices

This hardware is highly specialized. For example, the team uses different screws specially designed to work in the various kinds and sizes of bones. While most plates are solid structures placed over both sides of a fracture, your surgeon can shape and trim other plates to fit more complex structures.

Though orthopedic hardware can consist of metal, plastic polymers, or ceramics, the components used to repair fractures are usually metal. Titanium alloys and stainless steel are two of the most common metals used because they’re sturdy and biocompatible.

When do I have hardware removal?

Orthopedic hardware can be temporary or intended to stay in your body permanently. If you have temporary hardware, your surgeon usually removes it when the bone fully heals.

Your surgeon often needs to remove hardware that was meant to be permanent if the implants cause pain or you develop an infection. Sometimes the hardware must come out because it loosens. Though not common, some people develop an allergy to the hardware’s material.

What happens during hardware removal?

Your Ortho 1 Medical Group provider explains the process of removing your specific hardware. They begin by making an incision, either in the same place or one different than the incision site used to implant the hardware. Your surgeon removes any scar tissue that formed and takes out the hardware.

If you have an infection, your surgeon cleans the area. They might also need to do another procedure to ensure that your fracture stays strong. For example, they could insert a bone graft to encourage new bone growth.

Swelling after the surgery usually improves in a few days. But it can take several weeks for the pain to go away. Your surgeon gives you specific instructions about how to care for the incision and when you can return to your routine activities.

To learn more about orthopedic hardware removal and schedule an appointment, call Ortho 1 Medical Group or use the online booking feature today.