Outcomes of Hardware Removal Surgery for Children

Colton Ryan, Mark L. Dunleavy, Alex Burton, William Hennrikus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Hardware removal is among the most common orthopedic procedures performed in the United States. The goal of this study was to report the outcomes of deep hardware removal for children. This study received institutional review board approval. Patients younger than 18 years who underwent deep hardware removal between 2007 and 2017 were studied. We reviewed 227 procedures involving 132 boys and 95 girls. Mean follow-up was 25 months (range, 14-36 months). Mean age at the time of surgery was 12.8 years (range, 2-17 years). Mean time from initial surgery to hardware removal was 8.4 months (range, 1-72 months). Of the 227 cases, 75 used a tourniquet. Mean tourniquet time was 30.1 minutes (range, 1-118 minutes). Mean length of surgery was 44.0 minutes (range, 4-173 minutes). Mean resident level performing the surgery was postgraduate year 3 (range, postgraduate year 2 to fellow). There were 3 complications. Locations of the implanted hardware included: femur, 85; humerus, 49; tibia, 46; hip/pelvis, 17; ulna, 11; miscellaneous foot, 10; radius, 6; and fibula, 3. Indications for surgery included surgeon recommendations in 122 cases; symptomatic hardware in 68 cases, and parent wishes in 37 cases. Hardware removal for children was safe, and the outcomes were excellent. Complications of hardware removal at a teaching hospital can be minimized when a more senior resident is the primary surgeon. Despite the challenging and historically troublesome nature of deep hardware removal, the current study shows that hardware removal for children is safe and effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E91-E95
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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