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Author Topic: Allergic reactions following knee replacement.  (Read 33719 times)

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Offline sears

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Allergic reactions following knee replacement.
« on: August 03, 2008, 01:08:02 PM »
I wonder if anyone has had similar symptoms. my knee was replaced in Feb 2005. For several months following experienced swelling, heat and a rash with pustules to the lower leg. Since this time, developed severe and persistent exzema to my face and breathing problems, now diagnosed as having Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. I have read articles on this site regarding allergic reactions to cement used in knee surgery and research articles concerning nikel reactions in knee replacement prosthesis. I am in my early sixties and have a relatively good medical history except for allergic reactions to chemicals, I am not a smoker.
Can anyone offer me advice. Doctors appear to dismiss the possibility of my problems being due to the knee replacement. Does anyone know of a referral to a UK specialist who may be able to help? I look forward to hearing from anyone who can throw light on my problem and how to deal with it.
Thank you.

Offline UK Girl !

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Re: Allergic reactions following knee replacement.
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2008, 02:59:50 PM »
you say you have had allergic reaction to chemicals - could these have caused your Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ?(what do you do to be in contact with such chemicals?)  have a had a quick look arount the www and nothing springs out to have caused that symptom from allergic reaction - where as sores, swelling and pain in the knee region would be more likely because of a cement or metal allergy.

I just had a quick look at this as i am very allergic to nickel and can only wear gold and stainless steel jewellery - not even a belt buckle or metal buttons as they cause reactions . My knee is good ! as it has some sort of bonding over the internal bit with the minimal nickel part.
1978 - ruptured acl and all cartalidge removed.
several debridements over years
TKR 10TH JULY 2006 http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=28257.0  Aug 07 patellar maltracking - more physio! Still pain - but so much better !
BIOMET AGC  TKR  (with 10 yr warranty !)

Offline sears

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Re: Allergic reactions following knee replacement.
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2008, 06:14:29 PM »
Thank you for taking the trouble to browse through the websites on my behalf. I am retired and have no contact with chemicals nor have I in the past. The Chronic OPD has only recently been diagnosed and which stemmed from a very nasty asthma attack. which I know can be from allergies. Anyway it's 'back to the drawing board'  I am seeing my GP next week and so will plod on.
Thanks again

Offline Sandy R

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Re: Allergic reactions following knee replacement.
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2008, 05:59:57 AM »
Sears... I am also allergic to nickel.  Can't wear silver posts in my ears but can wear silver necklaces and bracelets.  My TKR is scheduled for the end of Sept.  When my surgeon heard of my nickel allergy, he had me patch tested for metals, cements and adhesive.  Luckily, everything was negative.  I would suggest you request to be metals, cement and adhesive patch tested.  You wear the patches on your back for 48 hours... anything less won't be a true test.  That way, you'll find out definitively what you are and are not allergic to.  Good luck!

Offline sears

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Re: Allergic reactions following knee replacement.
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2008, 10:21:40 AM »
Dear Sandie
Many thanks for your helpful advice, I have an appointment with the Skin Clinic and have told them of my suspicions, so hopefully they will do this test. I will certainly ask for it.
all the best with your own surgery,
Sears

Offline Sandy R

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Re: Allergic reactions following knee replacement.
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2008, 09:52:58 PM »
So happy to hear you'll be asking for the patch tests.  If the Skin Clinic doesn't do it, find a place that will do it.  Rather than assume you have an allergy to the replacement, find out for sure.  You can proceed so much better knowing the facts.  Also, if you are really allergic to the knee replacement, there is now a ceramic knee replacement that some orthopedists are using.  You might inquire about that, too.  Good luck... Sandy

Offline dawnsirish

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Re: Allergic reactions following knee replacement.
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2008, 05:43:53 PM »
I had a total knee replacement on my right knee in Sept. 2006 and had problems right from the start.  It wasn't until about four months after surgery and seeing a different orthopedic surgeon that I found out the implant my surgeon used was two sizes too big for me and he did not line up correctly which is what was keeping me from bending and straightening my knee.

My ortho surgeon (os) would never admit that I needed a revision  let alone admit fault so after looking for almost a year, I finally found another os who not only had the experience to do the revision but was willing to do it because the one thing that all the dr.'s agreed on was that mine would be a difficult surgery. 

I had the revision on May 27, 2008 and the surgery was only suppose to take an hour and a half but it took over two and half hours which had both my mother and husband thinking the worse until the dr. finally came out and explained why it took so long.  Apparently the implant that the first os used was an old, old implant and it contained a high dose of nickel and I am highly allergic to nickel.  After being in my body for 20 months, it had already started to eat away at the bone. This is what happens if you are allergic to the nickel in the implant - after the implant is in, you are given antibiotics while you are in the hospital but once you get home and are no longer on the antibiotics, your body sees the metal in the implant as a foreign object and your immune system sets out to destroy the "enemy".  Through normal every day wear, little tiny particles of the metal start to flake off and enter your circulatory system and these pieces of nickel travel to your lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen, etc.  If you notice that you have a hard time urinating now that you did not have before the surgery, then it is a safe bet that the nickel has invaded the kidneys. 

I also suffered from itching from head to toe with a rash that would just suddenly appear and it could appear anywhere on my body from the top of my head to the bottoms of my feet.  Taking allergy tablets does not help.  You will also experience abnormal swelling usually from the knee down to the foot.  My swelling was so bad that it felt like the skin on my leg would split open.

From the research I have done, people who have a nickel allergy and have implants that contain nickel, over 95% of those patients tkr's will fail making it necessary to have a revision.  This has repercussions down the line because revision tkr's do not last as long and there are usually more complications.  You will never have the same mobility with that knee and more than likely, there will be more problems down the road with the internal organs but since this is rare (most dr.s are aware that a large population of their patient's are allergic to nickel and use implants that contain stainless steel or titanium) not one medical professional  can say exactly what will happen.

I am now 48 and while I can finally straighten my knee, I am stuck at 96 degree flexion and will probably never get more than a 100-105 degrees of flexion.  I had complete movement and mobility of my knee before the tkr but my os stripped me of that ability for the rest of my life because he did not listen to me when I told him I was allergic to nickel.  I thought since he had been my os for almost ten years and had done six arthroscopic surgeries on the same knee, that I could trust him to do the right thing.  I even asked him about eight months after surgery if the implant could possibly contain any nickel and I reminded him how allergic to nickel I was and he replied, "I don't know, guess I'll have to look it up" needless to say, he never mentioned it again.

So bottom line, if your implant contains nickel and you are allergic to it, you need to have it removed ASAP before it has any more time to destroy your internal organs.  You will not get better as long as the implant remains in your body.  You may also want to go to an internist and explain the situation and ask for blood to test to determine the amount of nickel in your system.

I hope this helps and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask and I'll be glad to share what I've learned and even point you to a few web sites to read up on this.

Good Luck!

Dawn

Offline mg425

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Re: Allergic reactions following knee replacement.
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2010, 10:12:27 PM »
I have had TKR on both knees.  The knee that was done first (about a year ago) started to swell, ache, and feel hot).  My surgeon stuck a needle into the knee and pulled out a ton of puss.  He immediatley thought of an infection.  I underwent surgery on this again in April.  Everything was fine for a month and then the knee started to hurt again.  I went to the surgeon and he again pulled out a syringe full of puss.  He had the puss sent to a lab and cultured and the results came back completely negative.  This meant there was no bacteria or infection.  The doctors now think I have an allergic reaction to the nickel used in the cobalt chrome finish on the prostesis.  The finish only contains 1% nickel but it is enough to set something off in me.  Also, my other knee (done eight month ago) is completely normal.  I am seeing an infectious disease sepcialist this week to find out how to surpress the allergic reaction.  Keep you informed.

Offline missmyknee

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Re: Allergic reactions following knee replacement.
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2010, 11:04:51 PM »
Hi

The best thing you can do is get the Melisa test. Here is the website for it and there are clinic locations in the UK

http://www.melisa.org/why-melisa.php

Here is a list of clinics , page down to the UK

http://www.melisa.org/melisa-clinics.php

Their testing is very comprehensive.

Good luck

Pam
4Fx Clsd red
IMrod fib plate
derotate osteotmy tibfib
AF
IPCS patbaja
DeLeeOsteotmy,LOA,LR Zplasty,bongrf,chondrplty
chondrplty,LOA,fatpad remvd
TKR
openLOA,neurectmy,ITB Zplasty,fabela
PLC recon,revison,LOA,synovec
MCL,revison LOA
openLOA,prox Zplasty
openLOA, 6 neuromas excised,synov
3 Fusions

Offline mg425

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Re: Allergic reactions following knee replacement.
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2010, 03:19:02 AM »
I had my left knee replaced two years ago and my right one year ago.  Right after the right replpacemnt my left knee began to swell, turn red, aand feel hot and painful.  My surgeon stuck in a needle and sucked out a thick yellow suringe of puss.  He siad taht I had a kneee infection and needed immediate surgery.  For the second time I had my left knee opened up.  In recovery the surgeon siad that there was no sign of infection on the prostethsis so they wshed everthihg out and took tissue samples.  They sent the sample to a lab but they did not grow so there is no way to tell what bacteria is causing teh infection.  Three months later the knee was so sore I could not ak.  The surgeon siad that he would have to open my knee for the third time, take out the replacement, fill the knee with antibiotics for three months, and then go back in and set a new replacment.  I was so depressed that I thought about ending my life.  When I got to the hospital and was prepped for surgery the surgeon came in and told me they were not gong to tear my knee apart and only do arthoscopic surgery to take samples and see if i was allergic to the metal.  The surgery was done and all of the tests came back negative.  I have continued on, taking massive amonts of antibiotics, hoping to last another day.  Today I went to the surgeon because my knee was swollen.  He stuck a needle into the knee in a location above the knee and pulled out more puss.  My surgeon and the infectious disease doctor I am seeing have told me that they do not know what is wrong and that their only recommendation is to continue with the antibiotics.  Anyone have any encouraging words?