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"What are some complications and results of removing metal implants from my foot with surgery?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat are some complications and results of removing metal implants from my foot with surgery?


I recently had surgery on my right foot. My fourth metatarsal. It has been all most two months since the surgery and my foot seems to have had a reaction towards the implant. I went back to the my foot doctor who did the surgery and he says it's best to remove it because it may cause damage to my foot. I am wondering what complications could there be ? If I had a reaction to the metal, has it already worsen my foot in the inside ?


I'm sorry about the trouble you've been having since your foot surgery. Before we get started, I want to emphasize that your definitive evaluation and treatment should always be through your surgeon or another foot and ankle surgeon should you want an additional opinion. That said, this is somewhat of a difficult question to answer. Hardware is helpful in helping to fix injuries, but nonetheless is foreign to the body, and hence can cause pain and bone loss. Without being able to examine you or look at your x-rays directly, it is difficult for me to definitively address your problem. That said, hardware can be a source of infection, bone loss or pain, all of which or some of which may be causing your problem. Repeat surgery itself can also be risky, because repeat surgery can predispose you to infection, bleeding or injury to nerves; it can also predispose you to re-injury through your previous fracture depending on the stability of your fracture. If infection or bone loss or any compromised healing of your fracture has occurred, then your foot may be worse; in that case, hardware removal may likely be the answer to treat the underlying problem. Alternatively, if your hardware is just prominent and hence painful, hardware removal can be fairly straightforward with minimal risk to complications. Again, please consult your surgeon for definitive evaluation and treatment.

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