Why do orthopedic surgeons use plates and screws to fix, broken bones or fractures? I'm dr.
David Iyer, orthopedic, surgeon and sports medicine specialist.
I provide education and commentary on all sorts of sports and exercise injury, injury, treatment and injury prevention for athletes and active people so that you can stay healthy and perform your best.
One of the most common general operations that orthopedic surgeons perform is that we fix fractures.
Broken bones: one of the probably one of the main reasons: the field exists, people break their ankles bones and their knee their legs, their thigh bone, various bones in their arm and a lot of times.
We have to fix them surgically.
You know the bone may not line up in the right place and if it healed that way, it could lead to you know, loss of motion.
It could lead to pain.
It could lead to other issues, so we'll go in and fix it.
But why do we fix it with plates and screws? Why are there not other materials that work in this week's ask dr.
Gier video, I discussed why we use plates and screws what the role of those are and how they actually work to get a fracture to heal, Jorge asked.
I don't understand how drilling your bone to put a plate and screws helps the pressure heal.
Are you not messing it up more by doing this? Well, that's an interesting question.
What do you thing is basically we're drilling holes in the bone to put screws in plate and what does that do to get a fracture to heal? Now, just a second ago, I talked about how a lot of times, one of the main reasons we do surgery for a broken bone, is that it's not in a good position.
So part of the goal of the surgery is for me or the orthopedic surgeon to line it up better put it in the right position. 00:01:52
Now we have to get it to heal in that position and if all we did was line it back up, you know for a lot of these fractures, there's a very good chance.
It would just fall right back off and again heal in a bad position.
So we have to do something to get that to stay in place and what typically we use our plates and screws made out of usually titanium.
Sometimes there have been stainless steel, a hardware, but that's typically what we use.
They have varying lengths.
They vary in thickness, but they're generally plates and screws.
Sometimes you just need screws.
Sometimes you need plates and screws that depends on the fracture, but what those do is that they basically hold that bone in a correct position, while the fracture healed, the plate and screw itself is not what's causing.
This healing your body is helping the your bone, heal the plate and screws are just strong enough to hold the bone in the correct position, while your body heals it, you know your body will bleed into that area.
That blood has inflammatory, have cells that bring in inflammatory cells and growth factors and stimulate essentially scar tissue. 00:03:09
This is an overgeneralization, but it's basically true that scar, tissue, remodels and organizes sort of bit along the lines of stress, calcium is added.
It turns into essentially bone callus that Callos, ultimately remodeled to new bone and new bone, where it should be to get that bone as solid as it was before.
That process can take.
You know four to six weeks to twelve weeks, sometimes longer, depending on lots of factors the bone.
How old you are things like that, but that is basically what we found to work: the best plates and screws yeah I'd be great.
If something like you know something that was dissolvable could hold the bone in place, you know, maybe it's something that turns into bone.
Something like that, but you have to remember it has to be strong enough to withstand you know your normal activity like motion of that area and less than bone.
You know you don't want to turnover in the middle of the night and then all of a sudden.
It's out of place again, so that's why we use plates and screws in another video I've talked about.
Why very often we leave those plates and screws in place so wonder why we don't take those out or whether or not you could or should take those out.
Definitely check that video out as well now have you had a broken bone and did you have surgery where the surgeon put in plates or screws I'd love to hear your experience? What bone was that? What did you break? How was it treated surgically? Did the plates and screws bother you below this video share? Your experience share your thoughts, I'd love to read it, and I know people dealing with this problem all over the world might love to read it too.
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If you know somebody dealing with a fracture with a broken bone and think that this could help them. 00:05:17
Please share this video with them as well.
Thank you so much for watching again I'd love to hear your experience below this video and I look forward to seeing you right here next time. 00:05:27