Why your joint replacement will fail

Many common metals are toxic to the body. You want to keep them out, not put them in.

Yet if you decide to undergo a joint replacement surgery, you're doing just that -- you're putting metals into your body, including dangerous ones such as cobalt, chromium, nickel and aluminum.

Now, new research confirms just what I've warned my own patients about: Metal allergies are a major reason many replacement surgery procedures fail.

For example, at least 17 percent of women are allergic to nickel (and that's using a conservative figure; the real number is almost certainly much higher). Yet it's commonly found in many of the artificial joints used in replacement procedures.

Once the new joint is put into place and the surgeon sews you back up, your body reacts. That could lead to pain, itching and/or burning -- but these are sensations you feel on the inside.

It's an itch you can't scratch.

Your doctor may try to treat it with drugs, including steroids, which come with their own problems. And you may be required to take those meds for the rest of your life.

If you don't, the tissue around the new joint could swell, causing it to come loose. And that, in turn, could lead to a new surgery to remove the artificial joint and replace it with a new one.

Better hope you're not sensitive to the metals in that replacement for your replacement!

The researchers behind the new study say there should be more testing for metal sensitivities before joint replacement surgeries, but that would only perhaps solve the problem of the immediate swelling and pain around the joint.

It wouldn't prevent another, and far more serious, problem.

The same type of repetitive stress that wears on joints can wear on those metal replacements. As a result, tiny pieces break off and enter your bloodstream.

That can cause metals to accumulate and put you at risk for heart attack or stroke. These metals can even cross the blood-brain barrier, leading to mood disorders, memory loss and even dementia.

There are better and safer ways to ease joint pain and slow, stop or even reverse the damage. It's like a joint replacement, but without the surgery -- and Health Revelations readers got the inside scoop on some of the best natural options in the May 2014 edition.

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