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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Hardware removal is surgery to take out devices used to hold your broken bones together while they heal. These devices may include pins, screws, plates, or wires. You may need hardware removed because you have pain or an infection. You may develop an allergy to the device. Hardware in young children may need to be removed to prevent problems with bone growth.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
Before your surgery:
- Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
- An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
- Anesthesia: Caregivers use this medicine to keep you free from pain during surgery. You may have general anesthesia through your IV or as a gas. This will keep you asleep during surgery. You may have local anesthesia through your IV or as a shot. This will numb the area where you are having surgery. You will be awake during the surgery. You may also receive medicine to keep you calm and relaxed during surgery.
During your surgery:
An incision will be made near the location of your hardware. Your caregiver will use small tools to loosen and remove the hardware. The incision will be closed with stitches. A bandage will cover your incision to help prevent infection.
After your surgery:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you may be able to go home. If you cannot go home, you will be taken to your hospital room.
- Take deep breaths and cough 10 times each hour. This will decrease your risk for a lung infection. Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can. Let the air out and then cough strongly. Deep breaths help open your airway. You may be given an incentive spirometer to help you take deep breaths. Put the plastic piece in your mouth and take a slow, deep breath, then let the air out and cough. Repeat these steps 10 times every hour.
- You will be able to drink liquids and eat certain foods once your stomach function returns after surgery. You may be given ice chips at first. Then you will get liquids such as water, broth, juice, and clear soft drinks. If your stomach does not become upset, you may then be given soft foods, such as ice cream and applesauce. Once you can eat soft foods easily, you may slowly begin to eat solid foods.
- Pain medicine: Caregivers may give you medicine to decrease your pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a caregiver when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.
- Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may be allergic to the anesthesia medicine. Nerves, ligaments, and muscles may be damaged. Your bone may fracture again while the hardware is being removed. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke.
- You may still have pain, even after the hardware is removed. You may have trouble going back to your usual activities. You may have a scar.
CARE AGREEMENT:You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.