Does insertion of metal instead of plastic for cervical fusion cause neck pain?
Titanium rarely causes allergic reactions
Thank you for asking your question on this network. Obviously, I cannot speak for the surgeon in this case to explain why metal was used instead the promised plastic. It may have been a structural issue that required the stability of something like titanium for which plastic simply would not have worked. Sometimes we don't know these things until the patient is actually on the table and opened to see what's what...therefore, the most likely assumption that you NEEDED the titanium is probably correct.
As far as ongoing pain....again, this is an issue that should be addressed with the surgeon since I cannot tell you whether the lump behind the ear is something that is expected following the surgery or represents a complication. If it is painful to the touch, seems to be filled with fluid or pus, or is red, hot, or seems to have liquid oozing from the skin then, this should be immediately reported and you shouldn't wait till next week.
If it is just painful then, I believe you you have time to wait to discuss things with the surgeon although I don't see why a phone call in to his answering service (even over the weekend) since you are in pain would hurt. He may not answer...but then, again you could be pleasantly surprised.
Titanium is not known to be allergenic while stainless steel or other alloys definitely are. Besides titanium is MRI compatible so that's why they chose that particular metal over any other.
I hope this addresses your concerns and that you'll keep me in mind for future questions regarding these or other neurological/medical issues. Feel free to upload images if you'd like.
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