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Cervical Disc Replacement vs Fusion

Spine Health | Last Active: May 18 4:06pm | Replies (13)

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FYI - are you SURE you react to titanium? It’s supposed to be a pretty minimally reactive metal. It’s usually the chromium that is used with the titanium parts that patients react to is what I was told by a surgeon - I guess - was told - it’s because there is nickel incorporated into the chromium that most patients react to?! Made perfect sense to me as I cannot wear jewelry with any nickel in it at all. I must wear 14K hold or higher or I definitely react - itching, burning, redness, skin breakdown. I have the reaction whether it’s “cheap” jewelry or some metal parts on medical stuff like when metallic parts on orthopedic equipment/braces touch my skin.
Because it’s so problematic for me, when I needed certain replacement joints the company was able to manufacture the custom made joints (more $$$) for me without chromium. My joints have been in place 15 years with NO issues.

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Replies to "FYI - are you SURE you react to titanium? It’s supposed to be a pretty minimally..."

@wisco50 Most people don’t react to titanium implants, but some do. No metals are pure, they are alloys being mixed with other metals to improve strength. Years ago when I had pierced ears, I tried everything …. gold, platinum, surgical stainless steel, silver, even covering an earring post in a plastic sleeve and always, I reacted. When my ears were first pierced, everything was fine. I had metals in dental work starting from childhood that affected me unknowingly and made my allergic asthma worse. Asthma also came on in adulthood and I did not have it as a child.

When old dental work began to fail 4 years ago, I had it removed and got ceramic dental implants. I was metal free for the first time in my life from the beginning when I was a kid. My health and asthma improved a lot immediately. Then 4 months later, I broke my ankle badly and became the owner of titanium plates and screws on my bones. My asthma got worse again right away. 6 months after the ankle surgery, I started getting patches of chronic hives covering half of an upper arm or the inside of a thigh. It would start where clothing was tighter because it was systemic, and slight rubbing started the histamine reaction. If I rubbed or scratched at all, the hives multiplied even with individual welts up to a half inch in size. It was unbearable without being on antihistamines all the time. I had to wait at least a year for the ankle bones to heal before I could have the plates removed. It also caused some slight pigmentation of skin over the plates and it throbbed all the time and was warm when I touched it. All the metal was removed at a year and a half past the injury and it resolved the issues. I do still have some pain related to scar tissue and weakened ligaments that is intermittent and I’m stretching to relieve it. I don’t have chronic hives now without taking antihistamines.

These conditions can change after a certain period of exposure. I did take a blood test for allergies to surgical implant materials and metals prior to having spine surgery , and it did not indicate any problems, but clearly after breaking my ankle, I developed a problem to something in the hardware. I chose a single level spinal fusion with only a bone disc spacer and no hardware because I thought there could be potential problems. I had a dental crown with titanium in it, and some others that were something else for years. Perhaps that primed my body for a later reaction. I hope I don’t need to experiment again with foreign materials. Also the recovery from the ankle fracture was much more painful and longer recovery than the cervical spine surgery.