Knee Procedures


Revision Joint Replacement (Repeat Surgery)

Joint replacements can fail for various reasons. The most common cause of failure within the first year of implantation is an infection of the joint. Late failure of the joint replacement is due to loosening of the parts, the joint starting to feel unstable or wear of the components related to use. Revision joint replacement surgery is generally more complicated than the first operation. The duration of revision joint replacement surgery tends to be longer, and the parts implanted usually tend to be more extended versions of components used in first-time operations. Bone graft (from a bone bank) may also be used to restore bone stock in instances where there has been an extensive bone loss. Be prepared for an extended hospital stay. The rehabilitation process is similar, but you may be required to use walking aids for a more extended period to avoid putting your full weight through the operated leg.

Revision surgery for the infected joint replacement

If the infection is recognised within the first month, it can be cleared by surgical removal of infected tissue and limited replacement of the parts without removing the entire replacement. An extended course of antibiotics would follow this process. Established infection can only be cured by surgical removal of infected tissue and all other affected parts. Revision joint replacement is complicated and is usually carried out as two separate revision joint replacement procedures. In the first procedure, infected tissue and all parts are removed, and antibiotic laden temporary space filler is implanted. The surgery is followed by an extended course of antibiotic treatment as an inpatient. Only once the infection is cleared would we consider the second revision joint replacement procedure, which involves implantation of revision joint replacement parts. The period between the two revision joint replacement surgeries is two to three months.