Painful Hardware is a possible side effect from metal screws and plates, which are often used in surgery to fix fractures, fuse joints, or stabilize bones.
Usually, hardware put in place helps the body heal and restore normal functions. However, complications can occur during recovery that may alter the benefits expected from inserted hardware.
In most instances, these screws and plates do not create symptoms and remain permanently in the foot. However, in some patients, hardware can become prominent or irritate a nearby tendon or other soft tissues. Some patients also complain of achiness in the foot or ankle related to weather changes.
Initially, problems with painful hardware may be treated with shoe modifications, padding over the area, and simple measures to reduce the local swelling and inflammation. However, if this is not satisfactory, patients may benefit from hardware alterations or removal once the fracture, fusion, or bone cut has fully healed.