Implant removal on an outpatient basis. A patient satisfaction survey.

Published online: Dec 27 2003

Moholkar K, Lodhi Y, Corrigan J.

Orthopaedic Department, Waterford Regional Hospital, Waterford, Ireland


Unstable fractures of the distal radius can be stabilised with Kirschner wires. The K wires need to be removed after five to six weeks. The authors surveyed 100 consecutive patients with distal radial fractures treated with percutaneous Kirschner wires that were left buried under the skin. Group A had 50 patients who had such wires removed under local anaesthetic in the orthopaedic outpatient department. Group B comprised of patients who had the wires removed in the operating theatres under a short general anaesthetic. A questionnaire was designed to assess the satisfaction of these 100 patients. The survey showed that the patient satisfaction for this minor procedure carried out in the outpatient clinic was poor. Patient information and senior surgical input could increase the satisfaction.