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Removal of hardware Because Of Metal Allergy?

My ACDF c/5 c/6 was done 6.10.15. It has been months since I have posted. I have had several new issues since. I am currently taking 6 different meds to deal with everything the surgery has caused. I am trying not to get into all of what has happened since. My primary doc and I have just come to a conclusion of being allergic to titanium and possibly other metals in the hardware/screws. Today we started the process of doing a MELISA (metals) test. I have been going in and out of anaphylaxis, among many other things since the surgery. My primary said he thinks what has saved me from a full blown shock, is me taking antihistamines 2 times a day since. While we are waiting on the test he has told me to eliminate all titanium dioxide from my everyday. Never realized just how many things contain it. I also have to carry my epipen 24/7. My bloodwork from last week looks like my kidneys are becoming effected from processing the metal through my immune system. I have also read that in the case of being allergic to the metal you can get permanent bone, tissue, muscle and nerve damage.

If my test comes back positive for any allergy to the implant he wants the hardware removed asap. So my question is has anyone had there hardware removed before fusion. I'm just trying to understand what the physical reproductions are. My surgeon hasn't been much of a help ( he has already told me it's impossible to be allergic to the implants and they don't remove them) and I almost 100% sure he will refuse to take it out. Thanks in advance for any advice.


  • SkoshikaSkoshika Washington StatePosts: 22
    edited 02/02/2016 - 9:15 PM
    Hi livingthedream,
    I had my surgery for ACDF C6/7 w/hardware on 06/18/15. I went back to work part time at the end of Sept. I still wasn't feeling 100% but was tired of being home. I worked about two weeks and felt really ill like I had the flu. Felt feverish, achy, exhausted, sleeping all the time. I had to take the week off work because I had no energy. I went back to work, once again worked two weeks and felt the same way. I was off work once again for another week. Each time barely feeling better and just pushing to go back to work. I made it until thanksgiving at which time not only was I sick with flu like symptoms I now had extreme pain in my shoulder blade, shoulder and arm. The entire month of Dec I was off. I saw the NS, had a CT, MRI and nerve test. With the holidays looming I couldn't get my results until Jan 8th. The CT confirmed I was fused, the nerve test showed slowing along my entire right arm, the MRI showed that my C5,C6,C7 all were compressed and that I had narrowing on my right side of all 3 but the C7/T1 had severe narrowing and that I needed to have a third neck surgery. I went home in shock. I saw my regular Dr the following week and told him what occurred and brought him the MRI results. I was still in so much pain so he said let's try some steroids to get the swelling under control so I could go back to work part time again. I made it two weeks only because of the steroids. In one day the pain was mostly gone. I also realized over those 2 weeks my throat, face, under my arms and in my thighs the swelling went down. My face had been broken out and it cleared up. But the day I finished my steroids all of that came back with a vengeance. I hadn't realized I had the swelling, I thought I had just gained weight from being so senditary after my surgery. I thought I wasn't eating right and that's why my face was broken out. But, this time when I felt the flu like symptoms and had to be off work again. The hopelessness was overwhelming. I got upset, I became so confused as to why this kept happening. I started to research and found out it was not anything I was doing wrong. That yes you can have metal allergies to the implants they place in you. Those implants can cause all sorts of havoc in your body. I finally made an appointment to see my NS again to discuss my third surgery on my neck. I see him on 03/02/16. At which time I will request while he is doing the fixing on my right side, I want the hardware removed. He has done both of my neck surgeries and I have developed a relationship with him. If he says no, I will find another surgeon to do as I request. I don't need the hardware I am fused.
    I hope this helps you realize your not alone. I wish you luck in getting yourself fixed and feeling better quickly. I have read that if you do have metal allergies the longer the gear is in you the more opportunity it has to leach into your bones.

    Best of luck,
  • SkoshikaSkoshika Washington StatePosts: 22
    Hey livingthedream,
    I have a quick update for you and created my own thread if you want to read more, it's under ACDF Allergic Reaction and Removal.
    I found out that most hardware is made up of multiple metals. Mine happens to be made out of titanium and nickel. I had a metal patch test and am highly allergic to nickel and mercury. I am going to have the Melisa test to confirm I'm not allergic to titanium. That spot was very red for days after the patches where taken off. I have removed as much titanium and nickel out of my everyday life as I possibly can at this point to try and help make my life not so miserable. Those are in everything. Water, cooking utensils, food, makeup, soaps, lotions,  ect. It's crazy to try to remove it all. I hope your doing well and have some answers to your questions by now. 
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