Metal Hypersensitivity and Orthopedic Implants: Survey of Orthopedic Surgeons

Katherine Hallock, Natalie H. Vaughn, Paul Juliano, James G. Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: There is no clear consensus among orthopedic surgeons concerning metal hypersensitivity screening and orthopedic implants. Objective: This study investigated practices and opinions about metal hypersensitivity and orthopedic implants via a survey administered to practicing orthopedists. Methods: A questionnaire was sent to members of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society electronically. Respondents were asked about preoperative and postoperative screening habits concerning metal hypersensitivity and implants. Results: Forty-four physicians completed the survey. Only 11% of respondents reported that they always or often screen patients for metal hypersensitivity. Fifty percent of respondents stated that they only rarely refer patients for patch testing (and the remainder never do). If, however, patients were found to have a positive patch test, most providers were very likely to use a different implant. Other respondents were skeptical of the relationship between metal hypersensitivity and implant failure. Dermatitis, pain, and loosening were common reasons for postoperative testing. Seventy percent of respondents said that patch testing rarely or never changed their decision making. Conclusions: This study is reflective of the lack of consensus between orthopedists regarding patch testing. It demonstrates the diversity of opinions among orthopedists, the need for additional dialogue between orthopedic and dermatology specialties, and the need for larger studies investigating outcomes and metal hypersensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-80
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Metal Hypersensitivity and Orthopedic Implants: Survey of Orthopedic Surgeons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this