Implants & Hardware
What are implants and hardware used for?
Implants and Hardware are primarily used to repair fractures and hold bones together while they heal. They can also be used to replace joints or help in fusion of joints. They include plates and screws, pins and specialized devices meant to reconstruct joints.
What are implants made of?
Most hardware is made of metal. This can either be stainless steel or titanium. Joint implants are usually made of plastic, metal or a combination. Other materials include carbon and ceramics.
Will I set off metal detectors?
The type of material, its location and size and its sensitivity of the detector are factors that can affect the likelihood of triggering security decides in several places. Usually, the hardware used in the hand and wrist would be small enough to unlikely trigger a metal detector. However, it would be best to advise security personnel at check in if you have metal implanted. You may also wish to obtain a note from your doctor indicating the presence of implanted hardware. Please contact our clinic staff if you desire such a note.
If I have an implant, do I need to take antibiotics before dental work?
Antibiotic pre-treatment is not routinely needed, but several factors need to be considered when deciding whether to take antibiotics before dental work or not. Some patients may have other medical conditions that may make them more prone to getting an infection, such as diabetes or a weakened immune system. Therefore, certain dental procedures have a greater risk of disseminating bacteria. Duration since the original surgery may be a factor, as well as any history or prior infection. Your dentist and hand surgeon can best advise you on the need for antibiotics prior to having dental work.
Will the hardware need to be removed in the future?
Hardware is usually tolerated well without causing any difficulty. However, there are some situations where hardware may be placed across a joint temporarily to support the healing of a fracture or ligament, with the plan to remove it later. There are also instances where irritation of tendons or other problems may develop that may warrant removal of hardware too. Ask your hand surgeon for the best advice.
Can I get an MRI if I have a joint replacement or metal hardware?
In general, most orthopaedic hardware and joint replacements are not magnetic, even those made of stainless steel. Therefore, an MRI can be safely performed. However, implants can distort images if they are in the same area as that being studies. Ask your hand surgeon for the best advice.
This information provided is meant purely for educational purposes and may not be used as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider before starting any treatment or if you have any questions related to your health, physical fitness or medical conditions.
Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgery Center