Can My Plates And Screws Be Removed From My Cheekbone And Orbital Fracture Repair?

Q: Dr. Eppley,  I had fracture of my cheekbone and eyesocket and four plates with eight screw were implant in my face…………..I want to ask can I remove these plates once if my fracture got healed??……Will there be any problem of refracture or any another problem after plate removal??

A: It sounds like you have a very typical zygomatico-orbital complex fracture which required three/four point fixation for anatomic realignment.There should be no problem with removing your fixation hardware 6 to 12 months after your original facial fracture repair. Facial bones generally heal completely by 6 months after surgery so removing them should not be a problem. Barring any future facial trauma, removing your plates and screws will cause the bones to collapse or refracture. Given the re-entry operative trauma to remove your hardware, there should be compelling reasons to do so such as uncomfortable palpability, cold temperature transmission or plate and screw loosening.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana