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Sports Medicine

Pin removal

09/29/2007

Question:

How do they remove pins placed after surgery of a triple fracture of the ankle? Does it hurt enough to ask for something to ease the pain? I have two pins inserted in the lower shin area and two on the inside of my foot with wires holding the bone together where it shattered and a plate with screws on the outside of the ankle. The two inside pins, from looking at the xrays, shows they go quite deep into the bone.

Thank you for your help with my question.

Answer:

Removing pins or plates is a surgical procedure that is usually done under anesthesia (being put to sleep).  It is certainly common practice that pain medication is needed for several days after surgery.  For information regarding the exact technique for removing pins and screws, I would advise you to discuss this with your orthopedic surgeon, as the technique will vary depending on the surgeon, types of screws/pins and their location.

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Response by:

Charles Webster, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati