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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board


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Hello everyone, I'm a returning bunion patient and I just wanted to ask whoever had their screws removed a few questions.... Did you doctor reopen the old incision or cut a new incision to remove the screws? How long before were you able to walk? Did anyone do local? Tell me everything you remember. Thanks a lot... I just want to know everyone's point of view because I am getting mines removed next month... My bunion surgery was a year ago... and now I'm returning b/c the screws have been irritating me. I'll also be more than welcome to tell anyone who wants to know how mines went when I'm done! Thanks =)
I had the plate, wires and screw removed from my bunion surgery. I had it removed after about 4 months. Would have to look up the exact time. For me it was surgery all over again, which I didn't know. I had it done in the office with every thing sterile. It took about an hour. He had trouble getting the right size of instrument to remove the screw. The wires took sometime getting them out. My foot was numbed and I didn't feel any pain. It was just stressful taking so long. He did cut in the same incision place. My incision looked bad for sometime, but is now looking good. My shoe does not rub the scar. Can't even feel it. If you only have a screw, it probably won't take so long. He gave me pain pills to take if I needed them after, but I didn't have any pain.
Good luck and don't worry. It is probably better to have the screw out than have it in your foot. I am 5 1/2 months.
Jean
[QUOTE=jean2003;3613490]I had the plate, wires and screw removed from my bunion surgery. I had it removed after about 4 months. Would have to look up the exact time. For me it was surgery all over again, which I didn't know. I had it done in the office with every thing sterile. It took about an hour. He had trouble getting the right size of instrument to remove the screw. The wires took sometime getting them out. My foot was numbed and I didn't feel any pain. It was just stressful taking so long. He did cut in the same incision place. My incision looked bad for sometime, but is now looking good. My shoe does not rub the scar. Can't even feel it. If you only have a screw, it probably won't take so long. He gave me pain pills to take if I needed them after, but I didn't have any pain.
Good luck and don't worry. It is probably better to have the screw out than have it in your foot. I am 5 1/2 months.
Jean[/QUOTE]

I forgot to tell you. I could put my shoe on right after the removal. He put a big bandage on the incision. He said that I could shower and get it wet, but I decided to wait until it healed a bit before I got it wet. I guess I was afraid of getting an infection, but he gave me infection pills. It was actually 3 1/2 months. I just looked it up for my screw, plate and wires to come out. I walked just fine afterwards.
I finally got my 2 screws removed after a year of bunion surgery! Okay I'll list what went down, it may not be in the same order but I tried nontheless.
1) I was awake for the whole thing, sat on this long chair, everything was sterile, they put a curtain in between so I wouldn't see the whole surgery process.
2) I had 4 numb shots in my foot before the surgery. The first two did not hurt at all but the 3rd one I felt it hitting my bone or screw.... But the pain may be compared to getting a cavity filled. The 4th one didn't hurt either.
3) I had my pod cut the same incision. It was difficult though because the head of one screw was on the opposite end of my original incicion and it was difficult to get out b/c this time the incision was smaller and he had to do a lot of reaching and digging.
4) The screw he was having trouble with getting out got out. If he wasn't able to get that out he would have to make a centimeter incision by the head of the screw, so thank god that one came out. The other screw was easy to get out b/c it was near the incision. It was embedded a little with bone though. He asked me if I wanted to take that one out even though bone had already grown over it and I said yes. He agreed as well b/c he already opened the incision!
5) So my incision was a little longer than an inch b/c it was difficult getting the first screw out. I could of made it easier for the pod and let him make a 2nd incision just by the head of that screw on the opposite end but I didn't want to add another random scar.
6) So it took about an hour to get everything ready and my foot numbed, and approximately 45 minutes for the real surgery.
7) I had dissolvable stitches. Small sticky bandages taped over them. White Gauze over that. And some wrapping over the gauze.
8) I don't think I'm suppost to get them wet, and my incision isn't healed yet so I won't.
9) Right after the bandages & wrap, I walked slowly to the x-ray room and got a new x-ray.
10) We were looking at all the before and after, this one with no screws or bunion!
11) I am able to walk, not as fast and normal as usual, but walk on my own.
12) I was perscribed vicodin and I do use it because it is a little painful on the incision area and just in case there is a random pain that shoots.
13) I see the doctor in a week to look at my incision and that's that.

I hope I gave everyone an idea of bunion screw removal or at least my point of view. Feel free to ask any questions about the screw removal, I'll try to answer the best I can!
How did you know that your screws were irritating you? I am a year and 6 months after my distal chevron osteotomy surgery and wondering if maybe my single screw is maybe irritaing me. It seems like I get an odd feeling (ache) at the end of the bone where I know the screw is. This is different than any pain I had pre surgery and immediately post surgery.
has anyone had a doc want to screw the screw back in? I am 2 months out from bunion surgery. Screwis clearly comin gout. SUrgeon wants to take it out. Second opinion says no way,screw it back in until bone heals (6 months out)
Sorry, I'm new here and am looking for detailed info on hardware removal because I'm having just 1 of my 4 screws removed in a few more weeks, and I'm REALLY nervous! I had flatfoot reconstructive surgery back in June, with a calcaneal osteotomy and Achilles lengthening, in addition to 2 bone grafts. 3 of my screws are well "hidden" in my ankle and have not really bothered me much (except on cold or rainy days), but one is on the top of my foot (was used to hold a bone graft in place) and is actually visible through the skin because it sticks up a bit (and rubs on my tennis shoe!). This top screw is the one they will be removing, and I was NOT a happy camper when I learned it would be done under local anesthesia (I'm the kind of person who wants to be knocked out before things are done and don't tell me the details after!). Although the recovery from my foot surgery wasn't exactly fun, I handled it surprisingly well; however, I am TERRIBLE with needles and am very stressed about the prospect of having an ankle block (so I'm assuming) for this procedure. May I ask, did you have an IV placed? Did they do ANYTHING to numb your foot before the 4 injections you mentioned? I really can't see myself just sitting on a chair or table ever so calmly while they stick me 4 times with a giant needle. I also have concerns about how aware I will be during the procedure...is it like having a tooth pulled at the dentist, where you can hear things cracking and whatnot? I think I'm WAY more nervous about this simple hardware removal than I ever was about the 4-hour surgery I had in June :(
[COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR]Gatorknight, I also had 4 screws but also had one on the top of my foot almost come through my skin, the whole thing was very creepy! My doctor wanted to remove the screw under local in his office but I said NO WAY! I told him I needed to be fully out as in the surgery (screw removal IS a surgery)at the surgery center, not in his office. Remember as patients we are in charge, you do not have to have this done in his office or under local.Simply tell him you wish to schedule the removal at the surgery center or hospital under genereal anesthesia. My own doctor actually made me feel bad for wanting to do this. He said "Oh come on, we can unscrew right here:dizzy:". After I told him NO and went to schedule the screw removal with his scheduler, she said most of their patients do not go for the "in office,local anesthesia screw removal", but like me insist on general anesthesia. Well as you said I was certainly was not going to lay there while he got out his screw driver and started to cut and bang and screw! Remember these doctors are surgeons so for them screw removal is "no big deal",unfortunately many of them are not sensitive to how it is for us to go thru such a thing. So I do not recommend doing screw removal under local, this is simply making it easy for the doctor for two big reasons.
1. he/she does not have to go out to surgery but can just stay in their office for this procedure.
2. THIS ONE IS THE REAL REASON IN MY OPINION
the doc gets PAID the same amount to take it out at the surgery center or hospital as he does in the office, so they will always try to get the patient to do hardware removal in their own office.(I was told this by a foot surgeon)
Screw removal is no big deal, I had it done twice for 2 different procedures. But, in should be done in a outpatient surgery center for infection control reasons. It is nothing to be scared of, but make sure it is done in either a hospital or outpatient surgery center. Do not take a chance getting an infection. My doctor would not perform hardware removal in the office for that reason.





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