Refracture of bones of the forearm after plate removal.

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Thirty-two plates originally used for fracture fixation in the ulna and radius in twenty-three patients were removed at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis between 1977 and 1982. The plate was on the ulna in eighteen arms and on the radius in fourteen. Removal of twenty-one plates was elective, and eleven were removed because of slight pain or discomfort. The interval between plate application and plate removal ranged from eight to sixty-two months. The average duration of cast immobilization used for protection after removal of the plate was six weeks. There were seven refractures, which occurred between two and forty weeks after plate removal. Three refractures occurred at the former fracture site; three, through the fracture site, extending into an adjacent screw-hole; and one, at one screw-hole. No refracture occurred more than forty weeks after removal of the plate.

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