Can I Have The Plates And Screws Removed After My Facial Fractures Have Healed?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I suffered facial injuries due to which my surgeon have to put two plates on my eye socket and two on my mandible fracture. I am 19 years old and I want to know can I remove these plates after my bones get fully healed?. Please reply to me as fast as you can.

A: Once the bones from facial fractures are healed, the indwelling metal plates and screws can be removed. As a general rule, that is six months after the initial injury and repair. Because it is another invasive surgery, there has to be a good reason to remove them. Palpability (I can feel them), cold temperature transmission (around the eye) or if they get loose and cause pain are all good reasons for their removal. But short of these reasons, there is no medical necessity to remove other than if having them out provides some psychological solace and a closure to why they needed to be put in there in the first place.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana