Revision of Total Knee Replacement

Are you a candidate for a revision of total knee replacement?

Once you have a total knee replacement, it is possible for a variety of reasons for the implants to fail-usually after at least 10 or 15 years. If parts become loosened from the bone or the synthetic components wear out, your knee may become unstable or painful when you are involved in normal daily activities. In this case, you may need what is known as a revision surgery.

The revision of total knee replacement procedure

In doing a revision, your Emory orthopedic surgeon will remove and replace the implants from your original total knee replacement. Because of the alteration to your bone structure made during the initial surgery, a revision is more complex than the original procedure. The extent of the revision will depend on the condition of your tibia (shin bone) and femur (thigh bone) after the original implants have been removed. In some cases, bone grafts from a donor may be required to complete the operation. Occasionally, special parts may need to be created for an individual patient. Revision surgery often takes considerably longer than the two hours normally required for the original knee replacement.

What to expect from a revision of total knee replacement

The outcome of knee revision surgery is often very satisfactory, but because of the need to remove and replace imbedded parts, your knee may not be as strong as it was following the original total knee replacement operation. Because of the complexity of this procedure, there are increased risks of complications, along with a possibility that the alignment of your knee might not be precisely the same as before. Depending on the condition of your bone structure after your revision surgery, your physician may recommend that you curtail some of your more strenuous activities. Recovery time and the rehabilitation process are similar to those following an initial total knee replacement.

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