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Question
Posted by: lucy | 2005/07/29

Broken and fractured ankle has been remedied with a plate

It is a year now since I fell and I feel a lot of tightness and certain movements are restricted. My orthopaedic surgeon says that the plate is causing this and it must be removed within 2 years. If I do not remove it, will movement be more restricted and what are the side effects please. I am 49 years old

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Our expert says:
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Dear Lucy

You shouldn't become more restricted if you keep the plate in your ankle, but if it is restricting movement, your tightness would most likely not improve. Whether or not the plate may become worn depends on the material of the plate. Also, it depends on where the plate was fixed on what impact it will have in the future. If the plate restricts certain ankle movements, this will cause an imbalance in your walking pattern and transfer of load through the body. This may increase your chance of developing knee, hip or back pain or degeneration, due to abnormal load distribution through the joints.

If you are against surgery discuss more conservative options, such as biokinetics (rehabilitative exercise and biomechanical correction) or physiotherapy, with your doctor; or get a second opinion from a foot and ankle specialist orthopaedic surgeon. Discuss the pros and cons of surgery, as well as long-term outcome.

Removal of the plate may prevent further problems down the line, although there are many risks related to surgery. If you opt for the surgery, have a surgeon you trust perform the procedure.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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