Complications of forearm-plate removal.
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Reconstruction of long-bone fractures with compression plates may give rise to stress shielding under the metal plate, which may be associated with late clinical problems due to insufficiency fractures around the implants. Therefore, it is common practice to remove forearm plates after fracture healing is completed. Increasing concern has been expressed recently about the complications and morbidity associated with forearm-implant removal. A retrospective review of the management of 111 forearm diaphyseal fractures at a major Canadian centre confirmed a substantial complication rate in elective forearm-plate removal. Because the true incidence of late insufficiency fracture is not well defined, elective forearm-plate removal may be contraindicated in the asymptomatic patient.
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