A revision surgical procedure following knee replacement is often required for various reasons in certain patients.
A knee replacement has a certain life expectancy and at the end of its usable life span the knee replacement can wear out and can cause problems around the bones around the knee joint and this may necessitate re-doing the surgery and putting in a new set of implants.
Revision knee replacement means that part or all of the components inserted for the original knee replacement are removed and replaced with new componentry. This may be a simple procedure just removing the plastic insert, or it may be a complicated procedure removing all of the metal and all of the plastic inserts previously implanted.
Infection in the original knee replacement is a common reason the patient’s need a revision surgery. This is a complicated procedure with approximately 80% success rates in terms of curing the infection long term. This can be done as either a single stage procedure where the infected knee replacement is removed, the knee washed and a new one inserted, or a two stage procedure where the patient is brought back to the operating theatre in about six weeks’ time after a period of antibiotics and the second procedure done at that stage.
Risks & complications
These days component failure, breakage or recall from the manufacturer are rare events, but there are other reasons that patients may require revision of their original knee replacement.
Pain and stiffness and patient dissatisfaction is another common cause that patients will often request a revision knee replacement be done to try and improve their range of motion or to try and improve their pain.
The recovery following a revision knee replacement is often prolonged and certainly takes up to 12 months to make a full recovery in the majority of cases
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