JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

[Alternative materials and solutions in total knee arthroplasty for patients with metal allergy]

R Bader, P Bergschmidt, A Fritsche, S Ansorge, P Thomas, W Mittelmeier
Der Orthopäde 2008, 37 (2): 136-42
18210089
The annual number of total knee replacement implantations is rising continuously. A progressive cutaneous hypersensitivity rate against metallic materials in the population has been registered which can lead to an increase of allergy-induced reactions associated with implant loosening in the future although the correlation with an allergic cutaneous sensitisation has not been proven in all cases. On apparent allergy against metallic implant components different alternative solutions to standard endoprostheses should be taken into account for primary implantation or revision of total knee replacement, for example the application of implant components without metallic elements (e.g. ceramics), the use of non-allergic metallic implants, such as titanium or ZrNb alloys, or potential allergy-inducing metallic materials after masking the implant surface using a suitable coating. In the case of primary or revision surgery most patients with metal allergy are treated with a Ti(Nb)N-coated knee implant made of cobalt-chrome or titanium alloys in our hospital. Within an international multi-centre study we are currently implanting a newly developed knee endoprosthesis system with a ceramic femoral component as an alternative.

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