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Does anybody else's swell up after having a bath?

I had a right ankle triple fusion last September with five bolts being inserted. I have found that every time I have a bath that ankle really swells up and hurts. It didn't do it before the operation. I wondered whether the heat from the water was heating the metal bolts and so causing the inflammation. My left ankle is not affected so much. It seems a bit far fetched but I can't think of any other reason. I have had RA and Type 1 Diabetes for 25 years plus.

Does anybody else have metal bits in their body which causes a similar effect?

4 Replies

Hi Cattledog

I think this might be something you need to discuss with your GP or orthopedic surgeon. We are not medically trained on helpline, so it's something I can't really answer. However we do know that swelling can be a possible complication following ankle surgery, but it appears your swelling is not continual, just after you have had a bath!

Judging by the lack of response from members it appears that this is a question that needs to be directed to a Health Care Professional, or may be those with "metal bits" aren't experiencing the same!

I would be interested to hear what you find out,

With best wishes

Sally ( NRAS Helpline)


Thanks for your reply Sally. I do get swelling from it normally but it is particularly worse after having a bath. I have seen the Orthopedic surgeon numerous times but keep forgetting to ask as I've had other problems with the surgery.

The ankle was set at slightly the wrong angle which caused pain when walking. I went in for further surgery to grind down the fifth metatarsal head which was classed as minor surgery.

I had further problems afterwards when the CT scan showed that the Surgeon had damaged the nerve and fractured the fifth metatarsal!!

I'll be seeing the team again in mid August and will ask then.

If I get a decent answer from them I'll ring and notify you personally!

Thanks for your concern.


I've had a fusion and have quite a bit of hardware in my ankle and lower calf, but I shower, so I don't have the prolonged exposure to hot water that you do. I would think that the heat would encourage circulation and lessen swelling, but that is not happening for you. My ankle does swell and does hurt occasionally, especially when I forget to take a tramadol in the morning (I take three or four a day). The ankle was swollen for years before the surgery, and is still somewhat swollen a year after the surgery. But I am delighted with the result: I can walk on surfaces like grass and sand that I was unable to tolerate before the surgery.

I hope you can get some solid answers and some relief from your pain!


Hey, thanks for your reply! I'll try showering and see if there's a difference then. Glad your surgery went well. I'm supposed to have a triple fusion in the left ankle as well but will hang on as long as possible! Although, the Surgeon said she wouldn't touch the left one until the right ankle is sorted.


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