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September 1981

Cutaneous Complications of Orthopedic ImplantsA Two-Year Prospective Study

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Kubba and Taylor) and Orthopedic Surgery (Dr Marks), The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Arch Dermatol. 1981;117(9):554-560. doi:10.1001/archderm.1981.01650090036021

• In a two-year prospective study of cutaneous problems in orthopedic implant recipients, cutaneous eruptions of unknown cause that bore good temporal relationships with implant surgery occurred in 19 patients. Two clinical patterns were observed. A transient "exanthematic" dermatitis was seen in six patients; in two of them, it recurred after each surgical implant procedure. A persistent reaction was seen in 13 patients. Metal sensitivity was found in two patients and considered to be relevant. Allergic cutaneous complications of orthopedic implants are rare. However, in an implant recipient in whom a cutaneous problem develops, the likelihood of the cutaneous problem being allergic in nature is slightly greater if the implant is of the static type, if there is a history of metal sensitivity, if the cutaneous eruption shows a predilection for the anatomic zone of the implant, and if the eruption is eczematous and has developed late and persisted.

(Arch Dermatol 1981;117:554-560)