Does gender impact a patient's reaction to metal implants? 5 things to know

Practice Management

Women experience higher rates of unexplained joint pain and hypersensitivity to implant metals after total joint arthroplasty operations than men, according to a study recently published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Here are five things to know:


1. Recent studies reveal women experience worse tissue reactions, aseptic loosening and revision following metal-on-metal hip resurfacing arthroplasty than men.


2. A lymphocyte transformation test evaluated immune cell sensitization to metals, finding 49 percent of women experienced immune sensitization compared to 38 percent of men.


3. Severity of metal sensitivity was greater in women, as well.


4. After joint replacement, 29 percent of women with pain reported having allergic reactions to metals compared to only 4 percent of men reporting the same.


5. Women experienced more unexplained pain after total hip or knee replacements than men.


The researchers were unable to conclude if sensitization to metals is a pre-existing condition or if it's caused by the joint implant themselves. Reasons for the sex-related difference in sensitization remain unclear.


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