Many foot and ankle procedures require insertion of metal plates, screws, rods or similar implants for stabilization of the bones while they heal. There are a number of reasons why a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon will chose to remove this hardware. Hardware can be removed if it is painful, associated with an infection, or if your bone didn’t heal as hoped, which may require new hardware to be placed.
The goal of the procedure is to safely remove the hardware without causing damage to the surrounding soft tissues. These tissues often are scarred from previous surgery. Nerves and blood vessels and other soft tissue structures in this area may be at greater risk than at the time of the original surgery. A larger incision than the original surgical incision may be required to safely remove the hardware.