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

  1. The bone re-breaks easily along the screw holes
  2. Sometimes the bone can fall apart

RISKS OF KEEPING THE PLATE IN

  1. Future impact could send the plate through your neck
  2. 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.