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seeking opinion about hardware removal

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Old 12-13-2004, 09:32 PM   #1
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jdm HB User
seeking opinion about hardware removal

I post4d this question a few months ago, but I didn't get any responses so I thought I might try again. I had a fusion of my big toe last Feb. I have a plate and three screws in my foot. I was told by my doc that the hardware could stay or it could come out. She stated that about 40% of the people have it removed. I feel the screws if I rub my foot. Sometimes when my foot swellls, I think the tops of the screws rub on my shoes.

I was told that the recovery is much easier - about 2 weeks and no cast this time. Anyway, does anyone have any advice about keeping the hardware or getting rid of it? Any opinions are welcome.


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Old 12-14-2004, 03:03 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Marcos, CA USA
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Dwiggie HB User
Talking Re: seeking opinion about hardware removal

Hey jdm;
If you think you are feeling the screws rub on your shoe, then you are most likely right, after all it is your foot. I believe (but I could sure be wrong) most hardware should remain intact for at least four to six months before it can be removed. In hindsight, I can tell you that what you are experiencing may only become worse with time, and you should probably schedule an appointment with your doctor to talk about removing the hardware. Soon.
Close to two years ago, my right foot was labeled a Lizfranc failure. I won't bore you with the messy details of gangrene, pic lines, (IV line for long term antibiotics) RSD, continued pain and swelling. However, my hardware problems began as a small hard bump in the top of my foot, which at first wasn't at all painful. During the next six weeks or so, the screw (bump) moved through the soft tissue of my foot and in the end it felt as if in any second it would poke through. While waiting for the powers that be to approve the surgery for hardware removal, I woke up one morning with a very nasty abscess (it did poke through) and had surgery that afternoon.
As I understand it, for most people the surgery to remove the hardware is an easy one and can even be done using just a local anesthetic, at least that's what my doc told me. However--because I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (a connective tissue disorder) I am not most people---at least that's what my doc said. And talking about EDS is a whole different story.
I hope I gave you something to think about.
Every problem holds a gift for you in it's hands.

Old 12-14-2004, 05:51 PM   #3
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Re: seeking opinion about hardware removal

Thanks for the response. I am sorry to hear about your problems. My dr said that the earliest she would remove the hardware is a year after surgery. Therefore, the earliest she woiuld remove it would be next Feb. I just don't see how I can take more time off from work, so I think that I will wait til June when I get out of school. I am leaning more and more towards removal though.


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