Revision knee replacement is surgery to remove and replace prosthetic pieces with new components. This procedure is called revision surgery to restore mobility of the knee joint by replacing an old prosthetic with a new one. With revision knee replacement surgery, patients can lead healthier, active lifestyles. However, knee replacement may not work for some causing a painful and swollen knee. In addition, loosening and wearing of the joint may occur as well. Revision surgery is done to treat infection, knee instability, fractures and stiffness in the knee.
A healthy knee contains hard cartilage that encourages movement of the bones, but arthritis can damage this essential cartilage, causing it to thin out. As a result, the bones painfully rub against one another. Initially, knee replacement surgery addresses painful arthritic conditions but may require revision in some cases.
In the case of a failed knee replacement, a revision knee replacement can be performed to address the issues. Failure of knee replacements can be due to loosening over time called aseptic loosening or due to infection. In addition, perceived instability or pain might be the early signs of a failing knee replacement. Therefore, I will remove the prosthesis or parts during the procedure and replace them with new ones. In many cases, only one component of the artificial knee needs to be replaced, while in other cases, all of the parts (the femur, tibia and patellar) need to be removed. When the components are removed, the knee is rebuilt with metal parts or bone grafts. Because the bone may be severely damaged, I may not be able to use standard knee implants, in which case, I may need to use very specialised implants to provide extra stability and support. If a knee replacement failure is caused by infection, the revision surgery will be a two-staged procedure. The first part consists of removing the components, cleaning the joint, and using an antibiotic-loaded cement spacer. Once it is clear that the infection has cleared up, the new knee replacement will be performed.
As soon as your knee is not functioning as it used to, you should consult with me to discuss your surgical or conservative options. A worn-out knee shows signs of diminished capacity, pain and reduced performance.
The most common cause is an infection that can occur after knee replacement surgery. Although an infection rate is low, affecting less than 1 per cent of patients, revision surgery is necessary at times.