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Study Says Metal Orthopedic Implants Unlikely to Trigger Allergy

By: Tim Pennington
22. November 2011


There is little risk that patients with orthopedic metal implants will have a skin reaction or joint pain from the device, Dr. Joseph F. Fowler tells Skin & Allergy News Digital Network.
"I do patch test patients ... who have concerns about a metal allergy or are going to have an implant. I tell them if they have a positive patch test, they may have a skin reaction," says Dr. Fowler. However, there is a small chance they will have a cutaneous reaction, and a smaller chance they will have problems with the joint.
Dr. Fowler, a noted dermatologist at the University of Louisville, tells Skin & Allergy News Digital Network that metals used in orthopedic implants include stainless steel, which is composed of an iron-chromium alloy plus nickel and molybdenum, and sometimes a little chromium and titanium; nitinol (55% nickel and 45% titanium); vitallium (iron cobalt plus chromium 30% and molybdenum 5%); and titanium. Two of the four metals contain nickel, a common contact allergen, noted Dr. Fowler.


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