Revision Knee Surgery


Revision knee surgery is the removal of an artificial implant so that newer, appropriate implants can be substituted.

What is it?

Revision knee surgery involves the removal of knee prosthetics or previous implants to accommodate new prosthetics and implants. This procedure alleviates pain, improves patient’s mobility and removes loose or broken prosthesis that can be harmful to the patient’s health. A revision surgery may also be required in the case of an infection, which weakens ligaments and tissue comprising the knee joint.

What should I do to prepare?

Before receiving surgery, the patient should consult with a physician or surgeon to determine if this surgery is the proper course of action. X-rays and other diagnostic imaging techniques are used to develop a treatment plan. Medication plans and fasting routines may be necessary depending on the surgeon’s guidelines. Revision knee surgery is typically an inpatient procedure, so the patient should expect to remain at the hospital for post-surgical evaluation. Additionally, the patient should arrange travel accommodations in advance.

What happens during the process?

Knee revision surgery techniques are highly variable, based on the specific needs and complications that different patients experience with their knee prostheses. The first step is the removal of the old prosthesis. The knee joint is accessed through an incision above the knee, followed by moving the knee cap and associated ligaments to the side. Bone grafts or osteotomies may be used to reconstruct the new knee joint or to connect a new artificial implant to the joint.

What are the risks and potential complications?

Risks for knee revision surgery are relatively rare. Risks that accompany surgical procedures include but are not limited to improper anesthesia, infections, nerve damage, excessive bleeding, an inability of the wound to heal, and bone fractures. There is also the risk that the artificial joints are not implemented properly.


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