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Metal allergies

Nickel allergies and my knee replacement

In September 2006, I had a total knee replacement and had problems right from the start. I could never get my knee to flex past 78 degrees nor could I completely straighten it even 19 months after surgery and many months of physical therapy. I did learn many months later from other doctors that the implant was too big for me and it was not aligned correctly.After searching for seven months, I finally found another orthopedic surgeon who not only had the experience to do the full knee revision but was also willing to do it.  Most doctors who have the experience in my town (I only found two who have enough experience with revision surgery) were not willing to take me on as a patient because my case was "very difficult" and they were afraid they could make things worse.It wasn't until I had the knee revision surgery on May 27, 2008 that my surgeon informed me that the previous surgeon had used an older implant that contained nickel which of course I am highly allergic too.  The surgery took an hour longer than expected because the surgeon had to remove all traces of nickel which he believes he did.The problem is, the old implant was in my body for 19 months and I believe is the cause of many of my problems during this time.  I believe the nickel caused severe scarring inside my knee, caused me to lose so much hair I thought I would end up bald and itching all over my body to name just a few things I experienced.I have a long road of recovery and will never be 100% but I am hopeful of at least getting enough mobility back to get up from a seated position, get in and out of a car without having to push the seat all the way back and twisting and turning to get my leg, that wouldn't bend, in the car, etc.After having done more research, I find that patients who are allergic to nickel can have severe reactions to artificial knee joints that contain nickel. I suffered for 19 months until I finally found a surgeon who was willing to help me and had the experience to do so.If my story can save one person from going through what I have been through and will continue to go through, then at least some good will have come out of my personal tragedy.I hope that everyone who is considering have hip or knee replacement will make sure their surgeon knows they are allergic to nickel and make sure that the implant that will be used will have no nickel in it.My itching throughout my entire body has finally stopped (within two weeks of surgery to remove and replace the nickel containing implant) but the nickel had already eaten away at the ends of both the tibia and formal bones.

Dawn, UK

I am allergic to molybdenum

I developed hand eczema just over a year ago and recently received the results of a comprehensive allergy skin test which shows I am allergic to molybdenum - commonly found in stainless steel. As the symptoms are worst on the inner side of my left wrist I believe this may have developed from a watch with a stainless steel watchstrap which I bought two years ago. I am aware that some people on your website are allergic to nickel, also commonly found in stainless steel. The point I wish to make is - could they be allergic to molybdenum instead/as well? I am searching for information about molybdenum allergy and how best to treat it, what not to eat etc - but instead have discovered that many nutritional supplements contain molybdenum eg. sodium molybdate. For this reason I've stopped taking Seven Seas Multibionta 50+ which I've used for many years and have switched to Multibionta Immune, their only probiotic supplement with no molybdenum. (Probiotics help the body to absorb minerals and vitamins).

Isabelle, Herefordshire, UK

My aneurysm clips weren't titanium

Eight months ago I had two cerebral aneurysms clipped. Shortly after the surgery, brain scans, CT and MRI showed that something was amiss. My neurosurgeon had informed me prior to surgery that the aneurysm clips would be Titanium however, I have since learned that the clips are actually a nickel/cobalt/chrome alloy, there is no titanium in them at all. I am allergic to nickel. Now I've been told I may have to undergo more brain surgery to have the clips removed and replaced. Of course this is the last thing I want.

Marc, Melbourne, Australia