Forums: Community: Skydivers with Disabilities:
Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg?

 


repcool  (D 30916)

Jul 15, 2007, 12:07 PM
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Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? Can't Post

I got myself a femur nail (rod) just over 5 years ago from a Snowboard wreck. I still have the screws and nail and it has been giving me some pain recently. I have been jumping, running, biking, skiing, etc for over 4 years now and don't fancy much downtime. I think there are a few folk out there that might have some advice on this one.


chanti  (C 1687)

Jul 16, 2007, 8:36 AM
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Re: [repcool] Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? [In reply to] Can't Post

I had mine recently removed - June 1st. Background: broke femur July 15th 2006, started jumping again October 15th 2006 with rod and screws still in place. I only had it removed because i was told I had a higher risk of getting osteoporosis if I left it in.

To be honest, it was a lot more painful than I expected. I thought I would be ok within 2 - 3 weeks but I'm still limping 6 weeks later. After the op I used crutches for about 2 - 3 days. I did my first skydive since the op this past weekend. Having said all this, I must admit I haven't been so diligent in going to gym as I was last year after the break. Working out and doing strengthening exercises made all the difference to me last year. It's the muscles that take time to heal - the bone is not the issue!


pope  (D 19947)

Jul 20, 2007, 9:32 PM
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Re: [repcool] Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? [In reply to] Can't Post

I had my stuff taken out for a bunch of reasons, one of which was that there's a way better chance of breaking your leg MORE seriously with the stuff in. If you are unlucky enough to bend the rod, your bone will probably shatter and you could lose the leg (theoretically).


repcool  (D 30916)

Jul 21, 2007, 5:33 AM
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Re: [pope] Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for sharing. I put it off for long enough...I go under the knife Aug 9th! It seems even just doing the screws cuts through enough muscle to justify getting the nail out.


skyhpp  (C 840)

Jul 25, 2007, 1:18 AM
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Re: [repcool] Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a pin and screws removed from my femur after 13 months - two of the screws had broken, but luckily had not caused any additional problems.(Maybe something similar has happened to you, causing the pain and discomfort that you are experiencing)

The operation to remove the steelwork was easy and the recovery quick - I felt a lot better for it. Other people who have had similar injuries advised me to have the steelwork removed as soon as possible after the healing process had completed, and I agree with them from a comfort point of view, as well as removing the risk of catastrophic damage in the event of another break.

Given your liking for outdoor activities, I would think that the sooner you have the steelwork removed the better.


repcool  (D 30916)

Aug 10, 2007, 11:18 PM
Post #6 of 13 (2409 views)
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Re: [skyhpp] Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I had 4 screws and a 15 inch-ish nail removed. The nail turns out to of been a tad bent and probably responsible for the pain over the last few years.

So far I am blown away at how well the recovery is going. I have a feeling I am going to regret not having done this berfore...2 days of sofa and TV seem to be part of the perscription to recovery.

Thanks for everyones input.


jbeattie728  (B License)

Oct 20, 2011, 5:56 AM
Post #7 of 13 (1280 views)
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Re: [repcool] Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? [In reply to] Can't Post

What would be the conclusion of this? Remove or not?

I got myself a nail in after fracturing my femur. I seem to be getting mixed messages about removal of the nail. I have spoken to at least 3 medical professionals on this subject. One of which was an orthopedic person and they said its quite a big operation to undertake and in some accidient scenarios a femural nail could actually be helpful?

One other doctor said leave it in and the 3rd doctor believed if i should skydive again I should consider getting it removed but to speak to the orthopedic people first.

On the opposite side of the coin every skydiver i have spoken to has said get that thing outta there!

When i go to get my xrays on the 17th November I should get an oppertunity to speak to another orthopedic person about the situation.

From reading an article I get the feeling its best to leave the nail in its place unless there are syntoms of discomfort, as down the line removal of the nail may cause problems in future.

So its v. hard to make a decision and I seem to have noticed on these forums there are some jumpers that still jump with the nail in. Just wondering what there opinions on it are?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Oct 20, 2011, 7:15 AM
Post #8 of 13 (1270 views)
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Re: [repcool] Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I got myself a femur nail (rod) just over 5 years ago from a Snowboard wreck. I still have the screws and nail and it has been giving me some pain recently. I have been jumping, running, biking, skiing, etc for over 4 years now and don't fancy much downtime. I think there are a few folk out there that might have some advice on this one.

Get it out if you can. Years later, you'll be very, very grateful for your wise decision. It's not meant to be inside you..., IMO.
[just noticed you did get it removed. Wise call]


(This post was edited by DSE on Oct 20, 2011, 7:18 AM)


PhoenixPhive  (Student)

Oct 20, 2011, 9:04 AM
Post #9 of 13 (1251 views)
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Re: [repcool] Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? [In reply to] Can't Post

i have two screws attaching my leg to my hip socket; have had the screws in it for 24 years: found that water sking was out- too much pressure on the joint, and running is out: pain will occur.
I have found that minimizing impact is the way to avoid any type of pain.
I cycle, 50 to 100+ miles a week, workout at the gym- elpiticals are great for no impact to joints.
Yoga is excellent as well.
When you have metal parts and you don't want them to cause a problem for you later down the line, you have to really really be sensitive to your body: if you run and feel any pressure, stop, because that is a signal the pins are shifting.
Also, don't get a MRI unless you are certain your screws or pins are titanium: i had an MRI (aluminum screws), and it moved the screws (can't tell you how wierd that felt).


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Oct 20, 2011, 12:37 PM
Post #10 of 13 (1231 views)
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Re: [jbeattie728] Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What would be the conclusion of this? Remove or not?

Remove.

You want the weak points in your legs to be in the middle of the long bones which can be screwed back together without long lasting effects not the joints at the end which are likely to become arthritic when they heal with lumps.

Decreasing the severity of re-injury had more to do with my decision to get my tibial nail out than the discomfort.


(This post was edited by DrewEckhardt on Oct 20, 2011, 12:38 PM)


frequentfaller  (C 35928)

Oct 20, 2011, 4:15 PM
Post #11 of 13 (1212 views)
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? [In reply to] Can't Post

you can walk on it next day?
probaly lots of muscle soreness.

i need to get mine taken out.
i guess insurance will cover it.

it feels fine, but i know its there.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Oct 20, 2011, 8:31 PM
Post #12 of 13 (1195 views)
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Re: [frequentfaller] Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
you can walk on it next day?

Actually, they want you to walk on it the next same day of getting the rod in (for a femur at least).


Andy9o8  (D License)

Oct 21, 2011, 1:52 AM
Post #13 of 13 (1187 views)
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Re: [jbeattie728] Advice on removal of nail/rod from leg? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What would be the conclusion of this? Remove or not?

I got myself a nail in after fracturing my femur. I seem to be getting mixed messages about removal of the nail. I have spoken to at least 3 medical professionals on this subject. One of which was an orthopedic person and they said its quite a big operation to undertake and in some accidient scenarios a femural nail could actually be helpful?

One other doctor said leave it in and the 3rd doctor believed if i should skydive again I should consider getting it removed but to speak to the orthopedic people first.

On the opposite side of the coin every skydiver i have spoken to has said get that thing outta there!

When i go to get my xrays on the 17th November I should get an oppertunity to speak to another orthopedic person about the situation.

From reading an article I get the feeling its best to leave the nail in its place unless there are syntoms of discomfort, as down the line removal of the nail may cause problems in future.

So its v. hard to make a decision and I seem to have noticed on these forums there are some jumpers that still jump with the nail in. Just wondering what there opinions on it are?

I notice you're getting opinions from (a) medical professionals and (b) skydivers.
So here's my suggestion: get medical advice from medical professionals. Get skydiving advice from skydivers.



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