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Could I be allergic to my joint replacement?


Updated August 18, 2012

Question: Could I be allergic to my joint replacement?
Answer: Allergic reactions to joint replacements are not common, even though they are often suspected to occur. Many of these artificial joints are made of various metal alloys, many of which are well known to cause contact dermatitis. These metals include titanium, chromium, nickel, cobalt and others.

Symptoms may include rashes (either over the site of the implant or all over the body) and loosening of the implant, and can occur as a result of the metal or acrylic glues (bone cement) used with the hardware. Screening patch testing with the metals found in the implant device prior to surgery may help identify people who are at risk of future reactions to surgical implant devices.

Learn how the diagnosis of contact dermatitis is made.


Beltrani VS, Bernstein IL, Cohen DE, Fonacier L. Contact Dermatitis: A Practice Parameter. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2006;97:S1-38.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

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