Hardware pain is a pain emanating from an orthopedic implant and can be a difficult problem to identify. Hardware removal may be advised.
Metal screws and plates are often used in surgery to fix fractures, fuse joints, or stabilize cut bones (osteotomies) in the foot and ankle. 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, this 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 removal once the fracture, fusion, or bone cut has fully healed.