Yes, hardware removal surgeries are covered by insurance. Usually, any procedure that is not cosmetic in nature will be covered by insurance. The only hiccup is that it may not be covered by your insurer or under your policy. So, it is best to ask about what is covered under your policy by your insurer when buying a new policy. If you are unsure, you can also contact your insurer to find out.
Hardware removal surgery is a medical procedure where equipment used to fix your bones is removed from the body. This equipment includes metal plates, pins, screws, surgical wires, and the list goes on.
Essentially, such hardware is introduced into the body to aid the bones to heal after they have suffered serious trauma. Sometimes these implants are left for a short period, whereas other implants are left in the body permanently.
The usual cause with hardware removal is that the implant has begun to cause problems in the body. Perhaps the patient is feeling more pain than usual, or the implant site is infected. In severe cases, it is possible that the implant has broken.
Not all cases of hardware removal are this severe; at times, the patients may want it removed to ward off the risk of cancer or to avoid setting off metal detection tools.
Risks Involved With Bone Metal Implants
Somethings are known for their strength; bones, teeth, and metals are examples of such things. It is logical for surgeons to use metal hardware to aid in healing broken bones, worn-out joints, and other skeletal deformities due to their strength.
However, metal isn’t completely resistant to pressure because it can break as well. Factors such as the type of metal, how it is manufactured, and its size determine how strong it is. Metal implants exposed to excessive use may deteriorate and break in the body.
Until your bones are strong enough to function without the support of implants, you will have to use them. Unfortunately, there are instances where the healing process does not go as planned.
Sometimes broken bones may fail to heal or heal very slowly; this is called nonunion. In such circumstances where the bones are supported with a metal implant over time, the implant may not provide sufficient support anymore.
Implants installed loosely have a higher chance of causing discomfort to the patient than implants foxed properly.
Broken bones require a minimum amount of support to heal. When this minimum requirement is not met, the metal implant becomes ineffective and could cause problems.
Often, broken metal implants require a second surgery, although this is not always necessary. Sometimes, the implant has to be removed.
Hardware Removal Surgery Aftercare
Like other medical procedures, bone, metal implant removal surgery has its aftercare tips. The most important thing is to take your medicine as directed by your health care provider. There is a high chance that these medications will consist of partly painkillers and antibiotics to ward off infection and lessen discomfort.
It is critical that you take medicine as directed, as this will play a key role in your recovery. Do not stop or skip any medication without the consent of your doctor, and do not take anything that was not prescribed to you by them.
We would also advise that you are observant of any symptoms you may be feeling due to the medication you are on during this period. For example, perhaps you may be allergic to any ingredient in the medication you are prescribed. Taking note of such things can make the recovery period smoother for you.
It is also advisable that you avoid much activity a few months after your surgery. This will give your bones a chance to heal. After that, you can ask your health caregiver when you will be allowed to resume your activities in full.
During the recovery period from your surgery, you may be required to use a cane, walker, or crutches. Don’t feel embarrassed about it, as they are meant to help you get around without hurting yourself. They may also provide a sense of self-sufficiency since you don’t need anyone to help you move around.
Last on our aftercare list is wound care. As you are aware, after your surgery, you will have to care for a wound – where the surgery was performed. But, again, your health caregiver can direct you on the best way to care for your wound.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Hardware Removal Considered Surgery?
Yes, it is. Before getting to this stage, you must have undergone an initial surgery to have them installed. Their installation aids broken bone recovery, so it is expected have either recovered significantly or fully the implants will be removed. This procedure is called hardware removal surgery.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Bone Metal Implant Removal Surgery?
Every individual’s body is different, so it will be hard to give an exact estimate on how long recovery takes. However, generally speaking, you can expect a full recovery within three months. Depending on your system, it could take longer or shorter.
When Should Bone Metal Implants Be Removed?
Hardware is implanted to promote bone healing, and depending on the nature of your condition; it may be temporary or permanent.
Permanent implants may be taken out when they begin to cause problems such as pain or infection. Sometimes they may be removed when the patient shows allergic reactions to the implants.
Another reason people have them removed is to prevent the risk of cancer or metal detection in security systems.
Hardware removal surgery is covered by most insurers, as it is not cosmetic surgery. However, we advise you to speak with your insurer about what is covered under your policy before deciding.
Nearly 68% of my patients improve after hardware removal, but surgery is costly.