Although most total joint replacements are very successful, over time problems such as implant wear and loosening may require a revision procedure to replace the original components. When this occurs, your knee or hip can become painful and swollen. It may also feel stiff or unstable, making it difficult to perform everyday activities.
 
If your joint replacement fails, your doctor may recommend that you have a second surgery—revision total hip or knee replacement.
 
In determining the extent of the revision needed, Dr. Dolan will consider several factors, including the quality of the remaining bone, the type and location of the fracture, and whether the implant is loose.
 
The procedure:
Revision joint replacement is more complex and takes longer to perform than primary total joint replacement. In most cases, the surgery takes from 2-3 hours. In this procedure, your doctor removes some or all of the parts of the original prosthesis and replaces them with new ones.
 
To begin, your doctor will follow the line of the incision made during your primary joint knee replacement. The incision may be longer than the original to allow the old components to be removed. After removing the original implant, the doctor will prepare the bone surfaces for the revision implant. Finally, the doctor inserts the specialized revision implant.
 
After the procedure:
Recovery after revision surgery is usually slower than recovery after primary total joint replacement. You will need some help at home for several days to several weeks after discharge. The vast majority of patients who have revision surgery experience favorable long-term outcomes, including relief from pain and increased stability and function.

 

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