Indications for and Risks Associated With Implant Removal After Pediatric Trauma

Blake K. Montgomery, James G. Gamble, Stephanie T. Kha, Garin G. Hecht, John S. Vorhies, Justin F. Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

A wide range of implants are used in the treatment of pediatric fractures, including wires, plates, screws, flexible rods, rigid rods, and external fixation devices. Pediatric bones differ from adult bones both mechanically and biologically, including the potential for remodeling. Implants used in pediatric trauma patients present a unique set of circumstances regarding indications, risks, timing of implant removal, weight-bearing restrictions, and long-term sequelae. Indications for implant removal include wire/pin fixation, when substantial growth remains, and infection. When considering implant removal, the risks and benefits must be assessed. The primary risk of implant removal is refracture. The timing of implant removal varies widely from several weeks to a year or more with the option of retention depending on the fracture, type of implant, and skeletal maturity of the patient.

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