Metallosis mimicking osteomyelitis from a forearm plate retained for 50 years.

Published online: Jun 27 2000

L De Smet.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University Hospital Pellenberg, K.U. Leuven, Belgium.


A forearm plate retained for 50 years was removed because an acute inflammation mimicked chronic infection. The radiographs were very confusing. During the operation metallosis was obvious. Despite the general opinion that forearm plates should be kept in place, this probably should not apply to old "historical" hardware of uncertain chemical composition.