Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ

Question:

I injured the middle part of my foot playing football the other day. The doctor says he'll be putting in pins to fix it but then in a few months, I'll have to have surgery to take the pins out. When my cousin broke his leg, the pins and plates in his leg stayed. Why do mine have to come out?

Answer:

If you're having surgery in the middle part of your foot with hardware (pins), it sounds like you injured the tarsometatarsal joints, which is where the bones in your foot all seem to join up. If the fracture is unstable, meaning the bones have moved, then surgery is usually the chosen treatment. In cases like arms and legs, the hardware is usually left in because of the type of bone and the part of the body affected. But, with the foot, the motion of the feet, the pressure on the ball of the feet and the joints when taking every step, can eventually cause the hardware to break due to fatigue. This can cause even more problems. Some doctors do leave the hardware but this is a decision best left between you and your own surgeon. Mark S. Myerson, MD, and Rebecca A. Cerrato, MD. Current Management of Tarsometatarsal Injuries in the Athlete. In The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. November 2008. Volume 90. No. 11. Pp. 2522-2533.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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