PLATE IN OR PLATE OUT
The procedure to remove a clavicle plate takes around 15 minutes under general anaesthetic.
After the plate has been removed the clavicle will resemble swiss cheese and you must wait a good 6 months for the screw holes to fill-in. Those holes all lined up and will re-fracture like a zipper opening. It takes a year to heal completely and important during this time not to fall or knock that shoulder.
There are mixed opinions about removing a plate. The simple rule is, if you want to return to high-impact activities, have it removed.
RISKS OF REMOVAL
- The bone re-breaks easily along the screw holes
- Sometimes the bone can fall apart
RISKS OF KEEPING THE PLATE IN
- Future impact could send the plate through your neck
- With impact, the clavicle snaps at one or both ends of the plate
PLATING IN GENERAL
It takes a full year from the initial plating surgery to heal, and a further year to heal well again after removal.