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Revision Knee Replacement

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Most knee replacement procedures are successful, and it’s uncommon for a patient to need revision surgery. However, there are some instances in which this operation is recommended. A revision knee replacement can reduce pain and enhance mobility, just like with a primary knee replacement. A revision replacement typically also involves removing and replacing some or all of the prosthetic parts that were implanted in the first procedure. Our board certified orthopaedic surgeons can assist you in determining if your primary knee replacement failed and if a revision would allow you to live a healthier, more comfortable, and more active life. Talk to us today to schedule a consultation and learn more.

What Is Revision Knee Replacement?

Revision knee replacement shares many elements in common with a total knee replacement, but there are several differences that set it apart. Revision surgery is performed to remove and replace one or more of the components that were implanted during the initial knee replacement operation. Although designed to last many years, the knee joint prosthetic is not indestructible, and can wear down or become damaged.

Revision knee replacement is a more complex and time-consuming procedure than a primary knee replacement. Our extensively trained knee surgeons will evaluate your needs, review your medical history, and discuss your concerns when developing a customized treatment plan to best address your condition. Our primary goal is to provide exceptional care at every stage of your treatment, and we value your insight and experience. Feel free to voice your questions during your appointment or at any time by calling our office.

When Is a Revision Knee Replacement Necessary?

Knee replacement surgery is performed when arthritis, caused by the natural process of aging, an injury, or disease, leads to joint pain and functional problems. The damaged joint is replaced with medical-grade plastic and metal components that strengthen the affected area and allow the patient to move more freely and comfortably again. In most cases, a knee replacement is performed on a patient who is in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and older. In some cases, however, a younger individual requires a knee replacement. Someone in their 40s may outlive the life of their prosthetic, necessitating the need for a revision operation. Older materials that were used prior to today’s advanced equipment could also wear down or fail more quickly than modern prosthetics. Some of the most common reasons for implant failure include:

  • Implant loosening
  • Wear and tear
  • Infection
  • Instability
  • Stiffness
  • Fractures

Your surgeon will identify the cause of the problem and work with you to find a solution that offers long-lasting results.

Revision Knee Replacement Procedure

During the operation, the damaged components will be removed and new ones will be placed in much the same way that a primary knee replacement is performed; however, a revision requires more specialized tools and a greater degree of skill. Our orthopaedic surgeons have the training, experience, and ability to provide the treatment you need to restore your quality of life. One potential complication with revision knee surgery is the risk of reduced bone structure once the prosthesis has been removed. Your surgeon will let you know if metal augments or bone grafting will be needed to add support and stimulate bone growth in the treated area. This bone graft may come from another site on your body or it may be donated. Again, your surgeon will review the particulars of your treatment plan with you before your surgery.

Recovery Following Revision Knee Replacement

Revision knee replacement can take several hours to perform, and you will likely have to spend a few days in the hospital before returning home. Your recovery experience should be very similar to that of your primary knee replacement, although it may take longer. Some discomfort is normal, and pain can be managed with prescription medication. Physical therapy is an essential part of healing. You will begin practicing movements soon after your operation is complete. You should expect to use a cane, crutch, or walker for the first few days to weeks to assist walking. Your knee recovery will take several months, and we will schedule a series of follow-up appointments to monitor your progress. We are by your side for your entire journey.

Would you like to learn more? Talk to us today and schedule a consultation to see if revision knee replacement can help restore your motion.