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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-16

Orthopaedic implant removal: Epidemiology and outcome analysis

Department of Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chikwendu Nwosu
Department of Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njot.njot_3_18

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Background: Implant removal represents one of the most common operations in bone and joint surgery. After fracture union, the implant loses its purpose and continues to exist only as a foreign object inside the patient's body and the question arises whether the implant should be removed, and if so, why and when. While early implant removal increases the risk of re-fracture, delayed removal may result in more difficult and extensive operating procedures, due to a stronger bony integration and overgrowth on implants. This will provide essential information needed for hospital policy formulation. Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence, indications and outcomes following orthopaedic implant removal and to proffer appropriate solutions. This will provide essential information needed for hospital policy formulation. Patients and Methods: This is a retrospective study of all cases of implant removal performed in the Orthopedic Unit of Federal Medical Center and Surgery Department of Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital all in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, North-western Nigeria from January 2011 to December 2017. Case notes of the patients were retrieved and relevant information was extracted and analysed. Results: A total of 113 implants were removed from 111 patients. There were 78 males and 33 females, with a male to female ratio of 2.4:1. The peak age group is the 36–45 years. The longest duration of implant was from 13 to 18 months. Plate and screws constituted 76 (67%) of all implants removed. The femur was involved in 49 (43.3%) cases. Patient's request constituted 46 (41.5%) of the indications. There was retained hardware in 6 (5.4%) cases while external fixation (17, 15.3%) was the most common additional procedure performed. Conclusion: Most of the implants stayed for more than a year. Plate and screws were the most common implants removed. The femur was the most involved bone. Patient's request was the most common indication for removal. Retained hardware was the most common post-operative complication while external fixation was mostly performed as an additional procedure.

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