Metal hypersensitivity in foot?

I had foot surgery 7 1/2 months ago. Three screws were implanted during the repair. Now, while recovering from major shoulder surgery, I have developed swelling and pain in my foot at the surgery site. I have to limp when walking. Could the shoulder procedure have triggered a reaction to the metal in my foot? I think I may need the screws removed. Has anyone here had a reaction to metal and needed removal of the implants?


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  • I had screws inserted to hold metalwork in place but one of them developed a sinus, a small space, along it. When I walked it moved very slightly and that was enough to cause a lot of swelling and pain if I walked a lot. Because they couldn't tell if it was in infection it had to be removed - which was when they found the sinus. So even it wasn't a reaction due to the second surgery, there may be a good cause and it could be coincidence it started then. Case for the orthopaedic surgeon!

  • Thanks for sharing your experience, PMRpro! I was actually able to get an appt for later today--hoping to find a resolution. I assume your removal procedure went smoothly and relieved your pain.

    All the best to you!

  • Once the metalwork was removed I felt a lot better. I wouldn't say my body reacted to the presence of the metal - but it was a lot better without it! I don't know about feet but in mainland Europe it is normal to remove metalwork after about a year. Obviously the original break must have healed - and then you have to wait for the holes to heal...

  • Final answer--arthritis! Cartilage is worn down. Wear arch supports.

  • Hello shareasmile

    I'm sorry it's taken so long to reply.

    I have had four lots of surgery to my left foot and one to the right. My right foot is fine, can't even see the scar.

    My left is a different story. Many years ago I had a 'fellowes procedure'. It's not a bunion op. but similar. Over the years the ball of my foot shifted, it hadn't been anchored back into place. To cut a long story short, when my surgeon opened the foot, the piece of bone in the big toe that should have been left was such a small sliver that he had to insert a wire framework and six screws, along with a bone graft from my hip. Healed Ok, but then grew a bone spur on the underneath of the toe, so that had to be removed. About six months later I developed a really painful area just between the ball of my foot and the big toe, I could actually feel the protruding screw through the skin. Toe was once again opened and all of the metalwork removed, apparently, my bonegraft was pushing the screws out of line.

    The original procedure was a botch job and not done correctly, too many years ago to worry about now but I have never been able to weight bear fully on it and as a result my hips and spine are not well aligned and I need a hip replaced.

    What PMRpro says is important, follow the instructions you are given for rest exercise and massage the toe as soon as you can.

    Good luck

    C.c xxx

  • I'm sorry to hear that you are having so much residual trouble from your initial procedure. When we hope that a problem is getting fixed, it is frustrating when bigger problems are the result! I'm hoping that a "simple" screw removal is all it takes for me. =) I will find out in a few hours.

  • Good luck xx

  • Final answer--arthritis! Cartilage is worn down. Wear arch supports.

  • Well thank heavens you got an answer and know what you're dealing with!

    I have Osteo in my feet and ankles, and degenerative wasting in the joint linings.

    if it helps when I'm really desperate I use Zaicin (capsaicin) cream, it doesn't suit everyone but it works for me and is recommended on the Arthritis uk website, I get it on prescription. I've also smothered my feet in Vicks vapour rub and worn socks to bed, oddly enough, it does have a soothing effect especially if I've done some standing or walking and have residual night pain.

    I hope this is helpful to you xxxx

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