Can you be Allergic to Spine Hardware?

Category: Minimally Invasive Surgery, Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: November 24, 2014

spine screwsSpinal hardware is used in a number of minimally invasive spine surgeries. In most cases, patients have no issues with the hardware. But sometimes issues do arise. When hardware issues become apparent, one of the first questions patients ask themselves is: “Am I allergic to the hardware?” In this post, we are going to talk about allergies as they relate to spinal hardware.

Allergies & Spinal Hardware

When determining if the patient is having an allergic reaction to their hardware, the first step is to investigate the materials that make up the hardware in question. Spinal hardware (screws, plates, rods, etc.) can be made from various materials, such as:

  • Titanium & metal alloys (the most common)
  • Stainless steel (not as common today)

The brief answer to our initial question is yes, patients can be allergic to hardware if they have a pre-existing allergy to the materials that make up the hardware (titanium, stainless steel, etc.). Your surgical team will do a thorough investigation of your existing allergies prior to your procedure to avoid any potential allergic reactions after surgery. However, certain allergies can develop over time. So a person who has already had spinal hardware put in place can potentially develop an allergy to it years down the line.

An allergic reaction can crop up in the form of headaches, pain in the back and extremities, fever, and other symptoms. If you notice any severe symptoms after your spine surgery, be sure to contact your surgeon. It may be necessary to remove the spinal hardware to avoid any further complications.

Further Reading

For more information about spinal hardware, take a look at some of our previous blogs:

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