Revision knee replacement

Specialty of Orthopaedic surgery

What is revision knee replacement surgery?

Although knee replacement implants are designed to last a long time, sometimes they can wear out and require additional surgery. Hence, revision knee replacement surgery revisits existing knee replacements, sometimes replacing previous implants. These implants, typically made out of plastic, inserted between the shin bone and the thigh bone.

Why would you need revision knee replacement surgery?

Revision surgery is sometimes needed because the implant can cause instability, possibly due to being placed incorrectly. This can cause the patient to feel wobbly whilst walking. Revision surgery is also needed when the implant is worn down, over time, and surgery swaps out the old implant for a new one. Surgery will also be needed if existing implants become detached from the bone.

What does revision knee replacement surgery involve?

Depending on the type of revision knee surgery being carried out, the procedure will differ. These procedures are carried out with regional or general anaesthetic.

Post-operative care

After surgery, patients will usually stay in hospital for 3 to 5 days. Crutches are usually needed for 2-3 weeks following surgery, after which a walking stick can be used for support. During recovery, physical therapy is recommended so that strength and movement is restored to the knee. Sufficient painkillers can be prescribed, along with blood-thinning medication to prevent blood clots forming. It is important to get moving as soon as possible after the revision knee surgery has been carried out.

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