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Upper arm swelling. Broken left humerus, surgery done with pins and plates. Titanium rod broken. Third surgery?

I fractured my left humerus Oct 2011 due to a fall. I had surgery to repair. Plate and pins used in the repair. Late January 2012 there was separation of plate and screws. I had the second surgery February 2, 2012 with new plate and hardware. Post op x-rays at month 1 and 2 after both surgeries showed good healing and nothing abnormal. June 11th after mild pool excercises left arm felt strange and upper arm swelled abnormally that evening. Little pain. Had x-rays and saw the ortho PA on the 13th. The titanium rod broke in a V pattern in the top third of the plate. I m now facing a third surgery and am frustrated, angry and extremely nervous about yet another surgery. I am a non-smoker aged 64 and in good health otherwise. Any ideas why the plate broke and if the third time will be the charm ? They will do a bone graft this time. Thanks for your time.
Asked On : Thu, 21 Jun 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  730
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement 's  Response

Thanks for writing your query
I feel sorry for the suffering you are going through. Usually the plate doesn’t break easily, but that has happened because the bone union was there but lacking consolidation and the fracture site was fully dependent on plate.
Having said that let's have a fresh look I need to see your x ray picture .But I usually treat such patients with bone grafting with preferably interlocking nail.
I shall be glad to answer any further query of yours.
Take care and wish you early recovery.
Answered: Sat, 22 Mar 2014
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