On December 6, about 14 weeks after my ankle surgery, I went through a minor operation to remove the long screw that had been put in to stabilize my tibia and fibula. The doctor told me that this was done usually between 12 to 16 weeks post operation. The rest, 6 shorter screws and a plate, stayed in for the time being.
It was going to be a very small opening, just the area of the top of a screw and only big enough for one screw to come out, but they still applied full anesthesia. It worked for me, because I really didn't like the idea of lying awake when my doctor operated on me. Everything went well and the post-operation pain was completely manageable. I was released from the hospital after one night and went back to work 4 days afterward.
The ease of movement was greatly enhanced after this long screw removal. I felt as it the ankle had been liberated from a tight brace. The pain from the cut remained very mild and abated fast. This was the first moment that I felt truly hopeful for returning to a normal condition after my ankle fracture. I could indeed walk for a short distance looking like a normal person. Of course the wound still needed some time to heal, but it was a piece of cake compared to the healing process after the first, main surgery.
My doctors said we would look at the situation in a year's time to see whether we needed to remove the rest of the hardware. Personally, I would prefer to get them all out and became my original self again.