Nickel Allergy Threatens Patient Health in Knee Replacement

This trial concerned a patient whose doctors had known had a severe Nickel allergy, since he had previously needed a knee replacement and suffered extensive complications from his allergies. Nevertheless, when the patient underwent a total hip arthroplasty after he fell and fractured his femur, his medical history was ignored by his Orthopedic Surgeon. After the total hip arthroplasty, which included Nickel metal inserts, he developed a severe infection in his joints, resulting in him needing an amputation of his entire leg from the hip down. An Orthopedic Surgeon was needed to opine on the complications suffered by the patient after the procedure.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. How often do you perform total hip replacements?
  • 2. What precautions should be taken when a patient has a known sensitivity to orthopaedic implants?

Expert Witness Response E-017978

As a practicing orthopedic surgeon, I perform hip arthroplasty for patients with hip fractures not amenable to an Open Reduction and Internal Fixation procedure or intramedullary nailing. I have also lectured on the complications of having a patient with a Nickel allergy, and how to best accommodate them with various surgery techniques.

Expert Witness Response E-006389

Expert-ID: E-006389

I do a hundred total hip replacements each year. Typically, any known metal allergy should direct the surgeon as to what type of implant to use. Since I work at a teaching hospital, I have also lectured on total hip arthroplasty frequently.


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