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Cervical Disc Replacement vs Fusion

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

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@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.


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Replies to "@wisco50 Most people don’t react to titanium implants, but some do. No metals are pure, they..."

Ouch! You have mega allergies, it sounds like. That’s awful. I’m glad my jaw surgeon believed me and that I had no problems. I do know of someone who kept getting problems and as soon as they were removed her symptoms went away - but now she lives with no real joints! 😩
I feel for you on the ankle. Years ago I fell down some steps and somehow landed with all my weight upright onto a concrete floor, landing on one foot and then my leg promptly collapsed. First I thought I’d possibly broken my ankle or my leg in some spot as I couldn’t put any weight on the leg whatsoever. Got to ER and they were totally baffled after XRays showed no broken bones and my leg was already massively slowly from foot up to just above my knee. Still couldn’t put any weight on it.
Turned out I ruptured the ligaments between my two lower leg bones but didn’t break any bones - I was 64 at the time so we laughed at my good bones! I lucked out and with non weight bearing and a boot for quite awhile, it managed to heal up after a few months.