Does The Plates And Screws Used In Clavicle Reductions Need To Be Removed?

Q: Dr. Eppley, Since it’s been a couple months since this case-study was posted, I was curious if the plates and screws are meant to be removed eventually? Or will they have to be kept on forever? If they are kept forever do the plates/screws cause issues when going through air-port security? Also will people be able to feel them if they touch my shoulders?

A: The fixation hardware used in clavicle reduction surgery can be left in forever or removed as soon as 6 months after the surgery. Their removal is a personal choice. To date after five years of doing this type of surgery only one patient has requested hardware removal. Their titanium composition does not cause problems with airport security or in MRI studies. I can not speak to whether someone else would be able to feel the presence of the hardware as no one has mentioned that as an issue to date.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana