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Painful Hardware

Metal screws and plates are often used in surgery to fix fractures, fuse joints, or stabilize bones that have been cut (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 painful hardware removal once the fracture, fusion, or bone cut has fully healed.

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