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DrHelen, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 61
Experience:  UK Family doctor with special interest in Palliative Medicine
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I am having an ankle operation to take one of the screw out

Customer Question

I am having an ankle operation to take one of the screw out off the ankle as it is sticking out.
what is the procedure and how long before I can walk?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrHelen replied 4 years ago.

Hello, I am Dr Helen, a UK doctor.


Usually removal of bone screws is quite straightforward.

You will have a cut made over the area where the screw is so that the surgeon can access the screw. The holes that are left in the bone from where the screw was usually take about 6 weeks to fill in.


There is no one overall rule about when you are allowed to walk etc after the operation as your surgeon will advise you according to your personal circumstances.

However as a generalisation you will be told to rest it for about a week, sitting with your foot elevated as much as possible.

You are usually allowed to weight bear straight away as long as that is not causing you any pain. If your surgeon thinks it is appropriate he/she may offer you crutches to use for the first week or so. So, you can walk straight away (gently, round the house) but will need to rest it a lot too. You should not do "heavy" walking or exercise during the first week.

You cannot drive during this first week.


The stitches come out a week later and you can usually start driving again then but you should check this at the time.


You will be able to increase your activity after this providing your surgeon gives you the go ahead.


Very occasionally the surgeon will place a small cast on the ankle joint but this is not common practice and tends to only need to be done when a person is having a lot of metallic hardware removed at once, for example several screws and/or plates.


You may find this website's a forum about ankle pin removal and you can read more on other's individual experiences.


I hope all goes well,

Best wishes.


I joined JustAnswer in June 2013 and am a UK doctor. I have been qualified for 23 years and have widespread experience in GP and cancer care.