Shoulder arthroplasty in the patient with metal hypersensitivity.
The in vivo effects of metal hypersensitivity remain a topic of much debate. At the core of this debate is the possible, although still hotly contested, link between metal hypersensitivity and poorly functioning or failing implants. There are multiple studies on this topic in the hip and knee arthroplasty literature, but the applicability of this experience to shoulder arthroplasty remains unclear. Although how often metal hypersensitivity affects shoulder arthroplasty patients remains uncertain, a multitude of case reports have implicated metallic implants as a source of local and systemic allergic reactions. We recommend a cautious approach to patients with a history of metal hypersensitivity, including a careful evaluation of suspected metal hypersensitivities in all patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty. If available, we recommend a metallic implant with low to no nickel content in patients with metal hypersensitivity. Given the large and increasing, number of total shoulder arthroplasty procedures and the high percentage of the population having a known or suspected metal hypersensitivity, this review is intended to guide and educate the shoulder surgeon in the evaluation and treatment of this patient population and to point out the areas where evidence-based recommendations are lacking.
Morwood, MP; Garrigues, GE
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