Total knee replacement is one of the most successful procedures in all of medicine. In the vast majority of cases, it enables people to live more active lives free of chronic knee pain. Over time, however, a knee replacement may fail for a variety of reasons. When this occurs, your knee can become painful and swollen. It may also feel stiff or unstable, making it difficult to perform your everyday activities.
If your knee replacement fails, your doctor may recommend that you have a second surgery—revision total knee replacement.
Although both procedures have the same goal—to relieve pain and improve function—revision surgery is different than primary total knee replacement. It is a more prolonged, more complex procedure that requires extensive planning, and specialized implants and tools to achieve a good result.
Why Is A Revision Replacement Necessary?
Revision replacements are performed for several reasons. Some of the more common include:
- Loosening of the implant
- Infection of the joint
- Instability of the knee
- Malalignment of the parts
Many people ultimately have a revision knee replacement because the problem is causing significant pain. While pain can be a problem in itself, a revision knee replacement surgery should not be performed without understanding why the pain is occurring. Performing this type of surgery for pain without an identified cause is unlikely to yield good results. Instead, the purpose of the problem with the knee replacement needs to be precisely understood, and there needs to be a plan to address that problem with the implant. Operation without a clear plan to address the problem is unlikely to be helpful.