Removal of forearm plates. A review of the complications

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1990 Jul;72(4):601-4. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.72B4.2380210.


We studied 55 patients who had undergone elective removal of forearm plates between 1980 and 1986; 44 plates were removed from the radius and 37 from the ulna. Before removal only 20 patients (36%) had definite symptoms attributable to the plates, but 44 patients (80%) were advised by the surgeon to have the plates removed. In 22 cases (40%) the operation was followed by a significant complication. The complication rate was higher with junior surgeons and was permanent in 50% of cases. It is recommended that forearm plates should be removed only if they are causing significant symptoms, and that the operation should not be delegated to the most junior surgeon.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bone Plates*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Forearm Injuries / surgery*
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Recurrence
  • Staphylococcal Infections
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology