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Total Knee Replacement Nickel Allergy
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An_243834 posted:
After going through TKR 06/01/2009 in left knee, I have never had a day without pain. Recently diagnosed with RA, 09/2011, along with Osteoarthritis. Rheumatologist states she felt I have a sensitivity to the metal in the knee replacement. My appointment with Orthopedic Surgeon last week and him absolutely cutting loose on me for refusing treatment for the RA. I am so much medication for the pain from the replacement, do not want to add another medication to my list. But he told me to see a psychiatrist and to prepare myself to have revision within three to six months. He NOW feels I am allergic to the nickel in the replacement. This doctor will never touch me again but how do I find a physician I can trust? Since my original surgery this doctor has treated me like dirt, spoken to me like I was crazy, accused me of not doing enough, bullied me by saying he knows I just want to wither away but I couldn't do that because it would be too painful, did not want to give pain medications and saying I didn't look like a "druggie". How do I quit crying? I feel like this is the end of the world for me. Since I have had this surgery I have developed plantar fasciitis in my right foot, I feel for the way I have had to walk with this pain in my left knee. At the time of surgery I also needed my right knee replaced. Thank God I didn't have both knees done. Can't get an appointment with an Allergist until April to be tested for nickel allergy and this waiting is, quite literally, killing me. Are there doctors out there that actually care what the patient goes through? Could someone help me, PLEASE? If nickel allergy is a possibility, why don't doctors perform the testing before such major surgery? Could the sensitivity to the metal contributed to the RA diagnosis, since I tested negative before surgery? This feels like a never ending nightmare. God Bless.
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hello,

I hope that others will be responding with their support and ideas for you but, in the meantime, I wanted to welcome you here. I am so sorry for your extremely negative experience.

While you're waiting for responses here, try also posting on a couple of our other boards:

Pain Management

Rheumatoid Arthritis
We never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace. ~Peggy Tabor Millin
 
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baker57 responded:
Just saw this post. There is a blood test that can be done before knee replacements or (dental work!) to test to see if you are allergic to the implants, etc. Clifford Consulting and Research out of Colorado Springs.

Just looked mine over. Reactive to nickel.

My knees have not been without pressure since the surgeries (both TKR). Has me wondering. 2009

Will now try to go without any extra nickel. No stainless steel. Who knew? Just found out.
Good luck.
 
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debcanada replied to baker57's response:
Thank you for your post. The Orthopedic Surgeon told my husband and I that there is no test to determine allergy to nickel but my family physician has referred me to an allergist. Information on nickel allergy is not encouraging as it can enter the bloodstream and deposit in liver and kidneys. Orthopedist has given me a three to six month time frame to have a revision. I am scared to death since I have been unable to control this pain since surgery. Also would like to find a superb surgeon that actually cares.
Good luck with your tkr's. This definitely is not easy.
 
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baker57 replied to debcanada's response:
Just for your information and the time you have until you decide what to do:

I started cooking with just glass and ceramic in the last week. Also not using stainless "silverware". Good thing we had been using mostly the good silver!! Anyway, I'm happy to report that my knee pain is slowly improving.

I had no idea that stainless steel had nickel in it.

Good luck!

Will report again in another week.
 
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debcanada replied to baker57's response:
Just purchased new stainless silverware and I didn't realize it could have nickel either. Kind of feel like a guinea pig about now. Really hoping there can be something other than a total revision of this knee. It is so hard to imagine going through this again.
Glad you are feeling better. God Bless.
 
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allen_ responded:
I had TKR Dec 2010 I am having same problem as you all my joint swell up and very painful I just went to a Rheumatologist they say i have something similar to RA they started me on methotrexate this is not working I am going another route keep in touch we have got to get thru this
 
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debcanada replied to allen_'s response:
Allen, I go to Allergist tomorrow for the placement of metal testing to begin on my back. It stays in place for three days and I should have some kind of answer Friday. Methotrexate made me deathly ill and the Allergist has told me that this medication is very hard on the liver. What is a person to do?

The thought of a revision is unimaginable to me right now. The fear of this surgery has taken over my every thought.

Please keep in touch. I think it helps when we receive new information and to know we are not alone in this. Hope you are feeling better.
 
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baker57 replied to debcanada's response:
Sorry it has taken so long to reply. Just couldn't get my password to work for quite awhile. But I'm here now.

Been without stainless steel for about 2 months. Not easy but some of us are very sensitive to many things, including medication. Bought a set of bamboo utensils to carry with me, the few times I eat somewhere else. It really takes dedication!!

Nickel is a heavy metal and won't leave the body on it's own. I took something called NAC for awhile to help the liver get it out.

Sending you and anyone else positive thoughts.
 
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debcanada replied to baker57's response:
Is NAC a prescription? My allergy testing came back negative to nickel and all other metals but doctor says it can still be inconclusive, like someone having a peanut allergy and still able to eat peanut butter. This is so frustrating! The past three weeks I have had extreme fatigue and can hardly do the most mundane chore. Don't know if it related to replacement or pain medication but I don't even have the energy to drive myself to the doctor.
Please keep me informed about how you are doing. I really hope you are getting better every day.
 
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debcanada replied to allen_'s response:
Just wondering if you are feeling any better. Have you had luck finding a medication for your RA?
My metal testing was negative but Allergist said it can be considered inconclusive. Blood testing is not covered under insurance and costs $500. .
What to do?????
 
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baker57 replied to debcanada's response:
NAC is short for N-Acetyl-Cysteine and is not a prescription. It helps detoxify the liver. Good luck.

I will check in later. Having an issue with a tooth now but once again, foreign substance.

Be well.
 
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AliFant responded:
Hi, I been having a lot of problem, my rt knee was remove in dec., the doc said I have infection, I have medication treatment
IV for 7 weeks and have a reaction to the medication in my skin,
I have a cement spacer for 7 month, and I did the allergy test,
came positive, need to find another doc., I just have the surgery the rein plantation, with the Oxinium(for allergy) and I am been having a allergy reaction.
You need to find a new doctor, and get a second opinion with a
pain management. The said to me the same and I refuse the treatment. Do research in the internet, and keep looking.
Good Luck/ God Bless
 
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debcanada replied to AliFant's response:
Hi everyone, Just thought I would drop by to relate what has happened since my last post. After the initial metal and resin testing period, allergist said all was negative. One week after metals & resins were placed, I broke out. He said he had never experienced this before and I tested positive to the resin testings for the polymers in the bone cement. Eventually I will have to have the replacement removed, with either my leg fused straight or amputated above the knee, then a prosthetic made. Doctor does not want to do the surgery to soon since I still have the ability to move my knee. After monitoring every six months or when the pain becomes unbearable, he will make the arrangements for the surgery at Special Services Hospital in New York. This is supposed to be the top hospital in the US. Top hospital for TKR. This has truly taken over my life. Never without pain and never feel like doing anything. Rheumatologist states the cement is most likely causing the pain throughout my body. I wish you all so much luck and success with your tkr's. Just please ask all the questions you can ask before your actual surgeries. God Bless You All.
 
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to debcanada's response:
Thanks so much for coming back here and updating us on how it's been going for you. I expect your experience will help others here.
We never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace. ~Peggy Tabor Millin


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