Titanium plate

My 8-year-old had a craniotomy in March. We were told they replaced the bone flap with a titanium plate. Just curious what’s been everyone’s experience with these plates? Will it have to be replaced after a certain time? I feel a lump on her head that feels like a screw is loose (yes, we have already cracked the “you have a screw loose” jokes :slight_smile: … Any comments, suggestions?

On a related note, I have been doing a ton of reading on brain injuries to learn as much as I can. Many resources and studies seem to focus on traumatic brain injuries. As traumatic as the event as been our our family, it appears as though my daughter’s experience is not considered traumatic. I wish there were more studies and research on AVMs and related brain injuries as well as TBIs.

Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th!

I have never been told it will have to be replaced and yes I have many bumps and a misshaped head from the plate and screws. I have seen a discussion here about the lose screws and that they will tighten up as the fat grows over the screws. Have you found the new holes? I have found out I can balance an egg in mine and am working on a great trick. I would like to be able to balance and egg hula hoop and hang a spoon on my my nose. I can do the hula and egg part well and am working on adding the spoon. I get a few strange looks and comments about my trick, but hey we have got to find the humor in all of this. Laughter is really the best medicine and no matter what my situation in life I will search for it and hold on to it for dear life.

I have titanium plates… I have not been told anything about having to replace them…and yes my head is bumpy where the plates are…Even though I tried they are not magnetic…my kids wanna hang a magnet from my head…they also call me a cracked-head/crackhead because of the crack u can feel right next to the screws.

I have a metal plate to replace the bone flap, as well. (Never wanted any metal in me… seems like ‘metal’ - whether it’s rods, pins, plates, etc. - is the doctors’ preferred choice / ‘way to go’ these days.) I feared setting off the metal detectors at places but fortunately, that has not happened. My head is ‘lumpy’ in the area where my plate was put in and I was able to feel the plate & screws. (Feeling it and then reading that it was done in my medical papers is how I really came to know what was actually done. I was getting ‘conflicting’ stories from 2 of my relatives over whether metal was or was not put in.) I can’t seem to make myself feel the area too much… actually, I touch it very rarely, as I just want to ‘heal’ and move beyond my AVM ordeal. I will not (& could never) forget what my AVM ordeal has done (some good and a lot of bad); however, I have learned a lot from having my AVM ordeal… a real ‘eye opener’ to say the least. Good luck to everyone who is experiencing an AVM ordeal!!! (I would NEVER wish an AVM ordeal on anyone!) May God be with us all in that the plate NEVER has to be replaced!

I have 3 titanium plates & 3 titanium clips (plus screws) in the back of my head where my craniotomy was performed. Here is info I got from my neurosurgeon, neurologist, and physical therapist: the surgery requires removing the skull from the surgical site – they make 4 holes in a sort of pattern that makes it easier to separate and lift it out. At the end, they will put the skullbone back in place, but it needs something to support it while healing, and titanium plates are used to provide this support. Otherwise the skull bone would sink into the brain (not good). Sometimes the areas where the holes are drilled – which are repaired by filling the hole with something like a putty material – can sometimes sink in a little, too. If the skull bone is replaced, it shoudl eventually knit back together, and should not require replacement, but ask your doctor. Those who have damaged skulls and lose bone might have titanium or other things used to close up the opening since there is no skull to put back, but in a planned surgery they would replace it. I do have a bumpy head at the surgery site & probably a divet where one of the hole areas sunk a bit. I am glad to read this is common and it wasn’t just me!
Titanium does not set off security detectors. Since surgery I have, without problems, gone through airport security and security magnotrons at my government job. Magnets don’t stick to Titanium. My neurosurgeon said that the plates could be removed but that most people would not opt for it as it requires additional neurosurgery. I did not ask how that would be done, but if it really bothered someone I guess there is a way. I had post-op physical therapy and my PT would massage the scar site each time to loosen it and make my scar & scalp more flexible and able to move. This really helped and wasn’t painful. I still try to massage the site often myself. I did read online that people with titanium plates find riding roller coasters makes their head feel strange – the G force must make them really feel the plate inside. I do not plan to test this activity on myself, but if a child or teen had one, they might want to be aware of that. My plates are not always comfortable – I too thought I felt a screw or something sort of sharp in my bumpy head for a time – but the sensation eventually went away. And I can’t press on it too hard, as it causes pain. I also can’t wear glasses perched on the top of my head or any sort of tight-fitting hat – my head just doesn’t tolerate these things very well now. But most days I don’t even think about the plates.

Our surgeon actually used an absorbable plate in my daughter, something that they only use in pediatric patients. It should already have been absorbed now that her skull is healed. He likened it to rock candy. She does however, have an aneurysm clip at the former AVM site.