Revision Knee Replacements

During a revision hip or knee replacement procedure, an artificial hip or knee joint prosthesis is repaired. In some cases, the artificial joints become damaged as a result of general wear and tear over time. They can also be damaged as a result of an infection.

How the procedure works

A revision hip or knee replacement works by repairing any damage and helps to restore proper function and movement.

  • The damaged artificial hip or knee joint is removed and replaced with a new one. Multiple procedures may be required.
  • In cases where more than one procedure is necessary, old scar tissue is removed, and any infections are treated.
  • Once the infection has healed properly, a second procedure is conducted during which a new artificial hip or knee joint is placed in the correct position.
  • Certain circumstances call for the entire prosthetic joint to be replaced, but usually only some of the artificial components are damaged and need replacing.
  • A specialised soft tissue tensioning device is used for both modular exchanges and full revision knee replacement surgery. It facilitates a better outcome for patients with stiff and painful, or unstable and loose knee replacements.

Sometimes, when an implant is placed, the bone does not grow onto the artificial components, which means that the prosthetic joint is too loose. The implant may then need to be replaced. The artificial components may also loosen over time, causing considerable pain and impaired movement.

In cases of infection, bacteria attach to the prosthetic joint, leading to pain and loosening. Revision surgery is often recommended as the most successful treatment for infections.

This procedure is generally very effective, and helps significantly in relieving pain and improving movement. That being said, the procedure is quite complex and, as such, requires adequate planning. Dr. Ackermann is available to address any questions or concerns about the surgery and offers advice on the most appropriate form of treatment for your unique circumstances.