knee replacement allergy

Posted by denver @denver, Mar 15, 2019

I’ve had constant pain since my TKR 6/17. I’ve now found I’m allergic to cement and moderate allergy to nickel. The KR is coming loose, and is unstable. I need a custom made joint that will take 10 mos to make. Has anyone gone through this?

@lonna66

I have had two knee replacements and need a third…. 1st in January 2018, lasted a year and three months, it hurt constantly, when the doctor went in to replace it, the bottom portion literally fell out. With the second one he put in of course it has longer stems and it felt great for the first month, then it started hurting and it’s now been a year and seven months, and hurts just like the first one did! When I go into a grocery store, I have to hold onto to a cart in order to make it all the way around the store. When I go to the restroom I have to use a handicap stall, or hold onto something to push myself up, I cannot just stand up. When I went to Mayo Clinic I told the doctor I realize my name will never be like I am 30 again, all I want is for it to stop hurting all the time. I need my right knee done so bad, but I swore I would not do that until my left one didn’t hurt any longer. Hopefully Dr. Clark in Arizona can do something just to make the pain go away.

Jump to this post

Hello @lonna66, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @jnoronha. Sorry to hear you both have had a knee replacement that hasn't worked. There are a couple of other knee replacement discussions you may find helpful.

– Knee Replacement Failure – Need total reconstruction: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/knee-replacement-failure-need-total-reconstruction/
– Revision Total Knee Replacement Surgery: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/revision-surgery/

Do you know if your knee replacement failed because of an allergy you have to the metal that is used in the replacement parts?

REPLY
@jnoronha

Hi lonna66: I am sorry to hear about your problems. I am with you. I am experiencing the same issues you are. My left knee was done exactly a year ago and I am still having pain and numbness and the surgeon says it takes a year to 18 months for the pain and numbness to go away. My second knee was done 5 months ago and I am having pain but I feel the pain in my left knee is worse than the knee done five months ago. I cannot sit on a toilet seat. Just like you I need to hold on to something and hence need to use a handicapped toilet. The same when I go to the store for shopping. I need a crat to hold on to. This really limits my movements. Now I have to do a third surgery, my rotator cuff tear and it is my right dominant shoulder and I don't know how I will manage sitting on a toilet and getting up as I need to use both my hands to sit and get up. I am in a real dilemma. Please pray for me.

Jump to this post

Definitely praying… completely understand the pain!

REPLY
@johnbishop

Hello @lonna66, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @jnoronha. Sorry to hear you both have had a knee replacement that hasn't worked. There are a couple of other knee replacement discussions you may find helpful.

– Knee Replacement Failure – Need total reconstruction: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/knee-replacement-failure-need-total-reconstruction/
– Revision Total Knee Replacement Surgery: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/revision-surgery/

Do you know if your knee replacement failed because of an allergy you have to the metal that is used in the replacement parts?

Jump to this post

I do know that I can only wear either all silver or all gold jewelry, any plated that wears off, I either break out or the body part turns either green or blue! I do remember when I was little, my mom had something on her hands that she used to call crud, she could only use Palmolive detergent to wash anything, and Prell to wash her hair anything else that she use she would break out something awful. And the same thing with the jewelry, if it was not 100% pure she just playing could not wear it. And my sisters, all have the same problem.

REPLY
@lonna66

I do know that I can only wear either all silver or all gold jewelry, any plated that wears off, I either break out or the body part turns either green or blue! I do remember when I was little, my mom had something on her hands that she used to call crud, she could only use Palmolive detergent to wash anything, and Prell to wash her hair anything else that she use she would break out something awful. And the same thing with the jewelry, if it was not 100% pure she just playing could not wear it. And my sisters, all have the same problem.

Jump to this post

@lonna66, Did your knee surgeon run any metal allergy tests to see if might have a problem with the knee replacement implant? The reason I ask is you mentioned the doctor went in to replace it and the bottom portion fell out.

REPLY
@auntb1947

I would like to know if anyone who has had knee replacement still has burning pain after 25 days?

Jump to this post

I have had burning,pain and stiffness since bilateral knee replacements in 2005!! No doctor could help. I am just finding out about metal allergy . OMG that is my issue.

REPLY
@zinner

I have had burning,pain and stiffness since bilateral knee replacements in 2005!! No doctor could help. I am just finding out about metal allergy . OMG that is my issue.

Jump to this post

Hello @auntb1947, Welcome to Connect, an online community where patients and caregivers share their experiences, find support and exchange information with others. Having the burning, pain and stiffness since 2005 when your knee replacements were done is a long time. Have you reached out to your doctor or surgeon or had any metal allergy testing done?

REPLY

Try toxicologist. Are your knee replacements made of cobalt? Cobalt, I believe isn’t used anymore. I suggest you have heavy metal test done.

REPLY

Gadalidium, used in MRI’s can cause side effects also. It is also toxic and can cause a host of problems. Your primary care physician can order a toxicology test. You will have to go to a lab or hospital to have it done to see what percentage is in your system, if any.

REPLY

I believe titanium is used now for knee replacements only.

REPLY
@mfratt

Try toxicologist. Are your knee replacements made of cobalt? Cobalt, I believe isn’t used anymore. I suggest you have heavy metal test done.

Jump to this post

Hi. You can have a blood test done for implant allergies. It's called an LTT test. It will test for all metals and cement allergies. Any skin allergy tests you might have had done previously are considered to be unreliable. I've also had doctors tell me that implant allergies are a fallacy which I thought was ridiculous since I've read multiple reports proving otherwise. The different implants have different allergy possibilities. Cobalt is still being used. You can find out who is your TKR manufacturer, the type of metals and the serial # from your surgeon or hospital if you don't have that information. Nickel, Cobalt and sometimes Chromium in some TKRs have been found to be major allergies for some people in addition to some cements. You can order a test kit from Orthopedic Analysis in Chicago. Go to their website to order the kit. The website is the same as their name. This silly site would not let me post the website link which is totally UNHELPFUL to people on this site. STUPID. Why would I post a spam site? Just adding to people's frustration which none of us need. It must be paid for up front and then submitted to your insurance for payment as they don't deal with any insurance. They leave that up to you the patient. Whether the insurer will reimburse you is always the question. Its about $550 dollars. I'm just now ordering the test myself. I will probably have more info later after I've done this myself. If a test is positive for a cement allergy, there is one cementless TKR on the market now — Zimmer BioNet. You would need to research the metals in each TKR manufacturer to find the correct TKR to work around your allergies. Your surgeon could confirm the metals used in a particular TKR or a manufacturers rep. This same info would also apply to hip replacements. If you have any other questions, let me know.

REPLY

I thought there was a class action suite some years back. Don’t recall. I know they use titanium now which are also used in dental implants. Don’t have 550 bucks to spend. I have three titanium plates and screws in my neck. Not sure about the cement used for fusion in orthopedic use. I’m always concerned about that. I had a toxicology test when I went to ER one time and they did a heavy metal test for gadolinium three months after I had an MRI since I noticed something strange after. There is chelation method supposedly to clear it out of your systems. Heavy metal can cause organ problems if it stays in your system. I periodically get updates on Gadolinium toxicity. Good research on your part. Keep on trucking. It might others.

REPLY
@mfratt

I thought there was a class action suite some years back. Don’t recall. I know they use titanium now which are also used in dental implants. Don’t have 550 bucks to spend. I have three titanium plates and screws in my neck. Not sure about the cement used for fusion in orthopedic use. I’m always concerned about that. I had a toxicology test when I went to ER one time and they did a heavy metal test for gadolinium three months after I had an MRI since I noticed something strange after. There is chelation method supposedly to clear it out of your systems. Heavy metal can cause organ problems if it stays in your system. I periodically get updates on Gadolinium toxicity. Good research on your part. Keep on trucking. It might others.

Jump to this post

There was a class action lawsuit (probably several) involving the Stryker hip that was recalled around 2012-2015. I received a settlement in 2015 after undergoing a revision for a recalled hip in which the metal deteriorated which resulted in poisoning and infection. I thought the settlement was deliberately calculated for a "low award" because the average age of the patients was older. Had people been younger I think the settlement would have been much larger. I wasn't going to use a lawyer, filing my own paperwork, to save the loss of a 1/3rd of the settlement, but they required the use of a lawyer to receive the settlement. That was probably illegal blackmail but I played along to get a settlement. Lawyers created one set of paperwork and then just kept filing the same paperwork, just changing the name of the patient for each filing. Lawyers made out like bandits.
I don't know if my severe pain problems in my TKR have to do with metal and/or cement allergies but even though I can't afford the $600 tests costs either, I don't know what else to do. Doctors aren't interested in detective work when something goes wrong. They just like to do the surgeries and then patients are on their own. I've now been to four different revision surgeons and no one can give me any idea why I'm in severe pain 24/7, can barely walk and can't do steps at all. I've also have unexplained rashes and the start of kidney problems, for no known reason. I also had unexplained sepsis last year that almost killed me. Related? No idea! Not much of a life at this point, pretty frustrating. So I'm doing the allergy tests as a last resort. Hopefully it will offer me some ideas. We patients absolutely have to be our own advocates. I'm more than fed up with the lack of help from physicians . . .

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.