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Dr. Singh
Dr. Singh, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 6496
Experience:  MBBS. General Practitioner, experienced in hospital care and primary care.
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My son broke his left leg when he was 12 years old (both

Resolved Question:

Hello! My son broke his left leg when he was 12 years old (both tib/fib), he was operated and the metal plate and screw fixation were applied for the tibia fracture. Now, two years later we thought about taking the plate out; our doctor said, however, that it is safer not to have an additional surgery, to avoid the risk of breaking the bone again, in the places where the screws were. I have some questions.
1) Can we be sure that the plate doesn't influence his growth? He is rather tall boy for his age, he is 67", but he has grown only 1" over last year, and I start to worry that it might be because of the plate. How much a 13-14 year old boy has to grow in a year? There is no difference in the length of his legs (though the operated leg is broader), but I want to make sure that his height is not influenced.
2) Is it completely safe to leave a "foreign body" in his leg for his
whole life?
3) If the screws start to bother him,can the plate be removed later, in 2-3 years?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Singh replied 7 years ago.
Your doctor is right, taking out the metal plate is an unnecessary risk at this time. The plate should not affect his growth or overall height. Any new growth in the bone occurs at the ends of the bone, and the metal plates would not affect it. An increase in height of 1" in a year is normal for a 13-14 year old boy.
It is never completely safe to leave any foreign body in the body due to risk of infection. Now that his injury has healed well and its been 2 years since the procedure, risk of any new infection is minimal. If screws start to bother him, then the plates can be removed later, but usually this is not needed.
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