When Surgical Equipment Needs to Be Removed

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April 08, 2019
Edward Smith

When Surgical Equipment Needs to Be Removed

The femur is one of the largest bones in the body and equipment is often required to repair fractures in this bone. While this may come as a surprise to some people, plates and screws often play a critical role in the repair of this bone. Though some fractures of the femur might be able to heal without the use of equipment, this isn’t always the case. Some of the reasons why material such as pins and plates might be required include:

  • The bone has been broken in multiple places, and the doctor is worried that the bones may shift without screws and plates.
  • The bone fragments have been displaced from their typical anatomical location and require equipment to hold the bones in place while they heal.
  • There are concerns that the bones might not be strong enough to heal without some assistance from the screws and plates.

Even though medical research has come a long way and this equipment is exceptional, there are always complications that could arise. In some situations, these complications could become so severe that the surgical equipment needs to be removed.

Complications Following a Femur Fracture

All traumatic injuries carry with them the risk of complications. Like the injuries themselves, some complications are more serious than others. When it comes to femur fractures, some of the most severe complications include:

  • The development of Compartment Syndrome, which could lead to serious damage to the arteries and nerves of the leg, possibly leading to emergency surgery.
  • Possible malunion, which occurs when the bones do not heal properly.
  • The development of infection inside the bone, which is called osteomyelitis.

There are many situations where surgery is needed to repair a femur fracture. Unfortunately, with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of an infection developing. When this happens, particularly if surgical equipment has been used, the plates and screws might need to come out. This leads to a repeat trip to the operating room.

Signs of an Infection Following a Femur Fracture

Because infection is a serious complication following a femur fracture, everyone should know the signs and symptoms. Some of the warnings that an infection could be developing in the leg include:

  • Swelling at the surgical site itself.
  • Persistent body temperature over 100.
  • Pain in the leg that is getting worse instead of better.
  • Pus draining from the surgical site.

Anyone who has these signs following a surgical procedure needs to contact their doctor immediately. If the infection is not controlled quickly, it could spread and cause damage to other parts of the body. Furthermore, if the fracture has been repaired with surgical equipment, the metal is likely infected. If this is the case, the equipment needs to come out.

The Removal of Femur Fracture Equipment

Even though many infections can be cleared using only antibiotics and the body’s immune system, this isn’t the case with surgical equipment. Remember that both the body’s immune system and antibiotics travel to the site of infection through the bloodstream. There is no blood supply to the surgical equipment that is used to repair a femur fracture. Therefore, there is no hope of clearing an infection from infected surgical equipment. For this reason, the surgical equipment must be removed if there is any concern that an infection has developed following a femur fracture surgical repair.

Watch YouTube Video: When Can You Remove Screws from a Prior Surgery? In the following video, Dr. David Geier explains when surgical equipment can be removed after surgery.

Working with a Femur Fracture Lawyer

When an infection has set in following a femur fracture surgical repair, this often leads to a repeat trip to the operating room. This creates a lot of stress for a family. Because of this, everyone should receive support during their time of need. Meeting with a femur fracture lawyer in Sacramento can be helpful. Some of the assistance that a trained injury lawyer can provide includes:

  • Speaking with accident reconstruction professionals to make sure that the mechanism is correct.
  • Working with families in pursuing damages related to the femur fracture, any of its complications, and pain.
  • Shifting a case to trial when needed.

Nobody should ever have to face this situation alone. Meet with a Sacramento femur fracture lawyer. Your family could be owed a financial award.

Sacramento Femur Fracture Attorneys

I’m Ed Smith, a femur fracture lawyer in Sacramento. Even though plates and screws may play a critical role in the repair of a femur fracture, there are some cases where the equipment might need to be removed. If your family member has suffered complications of a severe injury such as a femur fracture, contact me today at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400 for friendly, free legal advice.

I am humbled to be a part of the Million Dollar Advocates and of the  Top One Percent, a National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

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Image Attribution: The picture at the top of this page was located originally on Unsplash
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