Revision Total Knee Replacement

A primary or first time total knee replacement may fail years after the procedure or sooner. Failure may occur due to several possible causes including excessive wearing out of the component or the components may loosen.

Revision total knee replacement is an operation performed to replace the damaged part of the primary knee replacement or replacement of the entire knee implant. A revision knee replacement is a technically more difficult procedure compared with a first time knee replacement and associated with a longer operating time, longer time to full recovery from the surgery, longer hospital stay, higher operative risks and lower patient satisfaction compared with first time knee replacement surgery. For example, risks such as infection, stiffness and risk of thrombosis after the procedure are higher compared to a primary knee replacement.

The complexity of the revision knee procedure depends on various factors such as the amount of bone loss and quality of bone remaining after the primary implants are removed. The quality and integrity of the soft tissues and ligaments around the knee will also determine the type of implant which may be required.

As such, it is important that revision total joint procedures are performed by surgeons appropriately trained, skilled and experienced not just in first time joint replacements but revision joint procedures, be it knee or hip revisions.

Revision total knee replacement

Total knee replacement may fail to a variety of reasons after primary implantation. I have briefly outlined why knee replacements might fail and the procedure involved.