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Broken screw embedded in bone

I had a car accident and broke my ankle, dislocating it and crushing the talas. Screws were put in place to hold the talas together. One of the screws broke and the doctor removed the part of the screw that was accessible, leaving the broken piece in the bone. Now this piece is causing irritation and the doctor will be going in to remove it. My question is what will the procedure be and how long of a recovery. When he told me what would need to be done I was too upset to ask questions and accepted the fact it needed to be done to relieve some of the pain. He did indicate I would be in the boot after the surgery but did not indicate for how long.

Not knowing the exact location and length of the broken screw I cannot really answer your questions. The problem is, you really have no choice, if the remaining screw is irritating chances are it will only get worse over time and depending what structures it is rubbing against, it may do further damage.
Good luck with the surgery.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Jul 20, 2014
Broken Screw
by: james

my fusions was done 18yr ago and now I have a broken screw, but they say (drs) doesn't matter, the fusion isn6t moving, well where did all this back and leg pain came,,,,,the say live with it, iam now on mophone and the fentanyl patch for pain , I wasn't taken nothing....should I make the dr put a new screw in or get a new dr?

he did put me in PT for 6 weeks, not I can do, most cause more pain

Aug 17, 2013
Me too; broken screw:(
by: L. A.

Hi! I had a major repair and recovery from a broken fibula; 8 screws, a plate and a syndesmotic screw at the top of the repair. I am learning the later screw did it's job before breaking right before I went in for my exit from pt back to no restrictions. It broke just perfectly between the fibula and tibia. Of course, I was wondering is this going to require more surgery; is it better to leave it in or remove it now? My surgeon; who did a fantastic job repairing me assured me we would just leave it there for now-unless I have any problems? It's been 6 months and I am still gaining my confidence; practicing the rolling walking motion and trying to take the stairs without a slight hop down the last one. Best to all of you who are recovering and have experienced this too!

Jun 16, 2013
Broken screws on ankle
by: Karen

I broke my ankle 6 months ago & had to have a plate & 7 screws put in. Now I'm having a lot of pain & my dr said 3 screws are broken- how & why do they break?? I was too upset to think to ask this question.

Jan 03, 2013
what did you decide?
by: Kennedy

Hi, I have the same issue with a broken syndesmosis screw, only mine broke halfway into my fibula.

I was wondering what you had decided regarding attempting to remove the broken bits of the screw?

Did you do it? What was the outcome?

my email is [email protected]

Thank you

Apr 06, 2011
broken screw in ankle
by: susan

i broke my ankle in 1990 from accident had 2 screwws put in 3 months later had one taken out tand the other broke in half. the dr told me the screw would be fine in there with no problems.
now after so long im having bad ankle problems, pain with putting wieght one it, i know the bone has fussed over the screw, what can i do now.

[email protected]

Jan 20, 2011
broken syndesmosis screw - to remove or not?
by: Anonymous


I sustained a Bimalleolar Fracture with a Syndesmotic injury to my left ankle after a rough skydiving landing in July 2010. I have a metal plate and 6 scres on the outer side of my anke, plus two pins on the inner side of my ankle. I also have a syndesmosis screw(spelling??) Through the middle. My initial surgeon advised me to get the syndesmosis (long) screw out before I broke it. Unfortunately my insurance would not allow the initial surgeon to complete the surgery thus I had to wait an extended time for a new referral and by that time the screw had broken. I tried to keep it in, but pain increased. Now I am looking at going back and the surgeon is advising to take out all of the hardware except the broken part of the screw. The screw broke very near it's "head", so there will still be a very long piece through the middle. The doctor stated he would try to to take the broken part out also, if I absolutely wanted to.

I've heard that the bone could fuse to screw but still cause problems later. I've also heard that the screw will continue to break in other places if left in and I resume my active lifestyle. Then I've also heard its riskier to take it out, because the doctor has to core a hole through the bone bigger than the screw to be able to remove it, and there could be issues with healing and bone strength after.

Anyone have thoughs on this? I am trying to decide if I want them to try and get the broken piece out also, or leave that long piece in.


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