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Why Do I Need Revision Surgery for an Existing Knee Replacement?

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Why Do I Need Revision Surgery for an Existing Knee Replacement?

Why Do I Need Revision Surgery for an Existing Knee Replacement?

Total knee replacement surgery is very successful for most patients who need one, and it enables patients to live more active lives free from chronic pain caused by wear and tear of the knee joint. However, over time, the artificial knee replacement can become stiff, unstable, and the pain will return.

An artificial joint may last for a lifetime, but it’s common for patients who were young at the time of their first surgery to need revision total knee replacement surgery down the road. Even healthy older adults may be considered for revision surgery if they are experiencing pain and mobility difficulties. The same wear and tear that led to the need for the initial knee replacement surgery can cause the artificial joint to become loose, which leads to further bone loss, damage, and pain. Another cause of joint failure is infection, especially if the patient does not adhere to their orthopedic surgeon’s aftercare instructions following total knee replacement surgery.

What Happens During Revision Knee Replacement Surgery?

Both the initial and revision knee replacement surgeries have the same intent: to relive knee pain and improve function. However, the revision surgery is performed much differently and it is a longer, more complicated surgery that requires a lot of preplanning and specialized surgical instruments for the optimum result. There are different types of revision knee replacement surgery, and sometimes only one part of the artificial knee joint needs to be replaced.

Revision knee replacement surgery is a 3-step process. The operation will begin with the surgeon removing the old implant and existing hardware, Next, the site is prepared, and bone must be built up before the new prosthesis can be implanted. If there is an existing infection, this will be treated first, and the joint replacement will be implanted at a later date. The third step of revision surgery is to implant the new components. After the surgery is complete, the orthopedic surgeon will try to get your up and moving within 24 to 48 hours post-operatively. You will require follow-up rehabilitation from a physical therapist, and you may require a protective knee brace or assistive devices to help with mobility, such as a walker or crutches.

The long-term outcome is typically favorable for patients who are good candidates for revision surgery and those who are diligent in following their doctor’s post-op instructions for healing and increased knee function. While complete pain relief and restored knee function may not be possible, the majority of patients experience significant relief from pain, increased stability, and better mobility.

Contact Fox Valley Orthopedics for an Appointment

Have you had a total knee replacement and think you might need revision surgery? We can help. Get in touch with Fox Valley Orthopedics to schedule an appointment by calling (630) 584-1400 today and get on the road to recovery.