I've had this plate in my leg for 21 years. I never actually wanted to leave it in my body, but I was scared to have surgery again and thought that the future was really far away so why worry about it. No one told me that it probably wouldn't hurt because they wouldn't have to break my leg again. No one told me that if you wait too long, it might be impossible to take out because the bone could grow over the metal and it could get all rusted and stuff. They say I will probably need a hip replacement. If doctors know how difficult plate removal can be, why would they leave the plate in and make that future surgery more difficult?
It's Not Harmless!
Anyway, I know they say you can leave hardware in your body forever, but I don't believe that the metal ions floating around in your body aren't affecting anything. Here are some of the reasons you should remove orthopedic hardware from your body:
*It clogs your lymphatic system
*It's bad for your kidneys and liver since they have to detox all the metal ions from your body
*It causes bone loss. They say the bone loss reverses after a while but it didn't happen for me.
*The free radicals cause oxidation and cell damage
*The metal ions block estrogen receptors and cause a hormone imbalance
*It affects iron metabolism and high iron is bad for you
*The metal ions can displace essential minerals and cause an imbalance
*The hardware can grow biofilms on it and you can constantly have a low-grade infection
*It causes bad circulation
*I've heard that your muscle won't grow back over the metal and it's true for me
*It can affect your range of motion. I have a very bad range of motion and I hate it.
*It's just plain uncomfortable
*You will be a better conductor of electricity than everyone else around you
So don't be scared to remove orthopedic hardware while you can! You never know if you will have a problem with it in the future, but if you wait that long it might be impossible to remove!