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Removal of metal from wrist

Mr Kemble Wang has recommended that the metalware (most commonly plates and screws) removed from your wrist. Not all hardware in the wrist requires removal. There are a number of reasons however, why sometimes this is recommended, and Mr Wang will discuss with you the pros and cons of proceeding with metalware removal. 

In general, reasons for removing hardware from the wrist include: 

  • the hardware is prominent, causing you discomfort or limiting your motion

  • the hardware may be irritating tendons or nerves in your wrist

  • the hardware may need to be removed because other future procedures are planned for your wrist

  • the hardware may have migrated and protruded into a joint where it shouldn't be. 

The following is an example of an x-ray where the previous hardware (inserted by another surgeon) is no longer in the right spot and no longer doing its job. 

wrist hardware removal

Surgical Treatment:

  • Most commonly, Kemble will re-use the previous incisions that are already on your wrist to remove the hardware.

  • The procedure is most commonly a day-case, and you should be able to go home on the same day. 

  • Kemble will sometimes combine this procedure with other procedures, such as a wrist arthroscopy to assess the damage in the wrist joint, and tendon debridement if there are suspected tendon damage

Post-operative Management

  • It is normal to have some tingling, numbness or weakness following your procedure. This is often due to a nerve block performed preoperatively to help with your pain, or with postoperatively injected local anaesthesia. This will wear off in the first day or two.

  • It is very important post-operatively that you works with your therapist immediately in trying to regain motion. In most situations, the joint will need to start moving immediately post-operatively.

  • Please keep your dressing/bandage dry. You may use a plastic bag tied above the elbow to prevent the dressing/wound from getting wet during shower/bathing

  • You may remove the outer bandage after 3 days. there will still be dressing on underneath.

  • Around 2 weeks following surgery, you should have your wound checked. 


  • After the wound has been checked, and if this has all healed well, then you may leave the wound open and allow it to get it wet in showers/swimming pools etc

  • Usually, there is no weightbearing or movement restrictions following pure metalware removal surgery. However, sports should be avoided for the first 2 weeks. 

  • Depending on what other damage that may be present in the wrist, recovery will be different for every individual. Kemble will guide you through this accordingly.

What to look out for

  • Continued drainage from the wounds that does not stop after 1 week

  • Suddenly deterioration in pain when previously pain has been improving

  • If any of the above is noted, please contact Dr Kemble Wang's team. 

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