Revision Knee Replacement Surgery

What is a Revision Knee Replacement?

A revision knee replacement is an operation on a knee that has already had partial or total knee replacement surgery.  It is performed for a variety of reasons but frequently because a partial knee replacement needs to be converted to a total knee replacement.  The operation involves removing the implanted components and inserting new ones. 

Revision knee replacement surgery is often very individualised as each case provides different challenges.

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Who Benefits from a Revision Knee Replacement?

Revision knee surgery benefits patients who have a problem with their current replacement or when the non-replaced parts of their knee fail. Situations needing revision include:

  • Wear of the knee replacement components
  • Loosening of the knee replacement components
  • An infected knee replacement
  • Bone loss around a knee replacement
  • Fractures around a knee replacement
  • Failure of the knee replacement components
  • Pain in parts of the knee that have not been replaced (commonly when someone has had a partail knee replacement)

What is Involved for the Patient?

  • Usually four to six nights in hospital
  • A spinal or general anaesthetic (either way you wont hear or see anything)
  • The operation takes 90 - 180 minutes
  • Old scars are often lengthened and used again
  • Sometimes reduced weight bearing after surgery
  • Crutches for six to twelve weeks
  • No driving for four to twelve weeks

What is the Recovery Period?

Recovery after knee revision surgery is very individualised.  The operation ranges from very simpe to very complex.  Some revision surgery reaches full recovery in three to six months.  Frequently, full recovery takes six to twelve months but in some complex cases twelve to eighteen months.

What is the Success Rate of a Revision Knee Replacement?

Success rates of revision knee surgery are mixed depending on how severe the initial problem is and what surgery is required.  In general, a revision knee operation functions at a slightly lower level to that of a first knee replacement. A revision knee replacement often does not last as long as a primary (first) knee replacement

What are the Risks of a Revision Knee Replacement?

All operations carry some risk.  Revision knee replacement is a safe operation but carries higher risks than a first time replacement.  This is because of scarring and bone loss.

Risks common to all operations include:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots in the legs
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to surrounding nerves and blood vessels

Risks particular to revision knee replacement include:

  • Knee stiffness
  • Fracture of bones around the revised knee replacement
  • Loosening of the revised knee components
  • Problems with the mechanism that straightens the knee
  • Increased chance of requiring a blood transfusion.

Why Have Julian Perform Your Revision Knee Replacement?

Julian is experienced with knee revision surgery.  He uses computer assistance for revision surgery whereever possible.  Julian has been trained, and has experience, in a variety of techniques for dealing with the challenges that this surgery creates.

Because of the complex nature of the surgery Julian operates on these cases with his colleague and close friend Mr Simon Crampton.  Simon is an experienced Christchurch orthopaedic surgeon.  Julian and Simon operate together monthly on challenging cases.  This is done pro-bono,   and on a reciprocal basis between the two centres, at no extra cost to the patient.

Having two surgeons results in a shorter operation which reduces a number of risks.  The patient benefits from having double the experience normally present at their operation.  Simon and Julian have been very happy with the outcomes they have achieved operating together in this way.

I Think I May Benefit From a Revision Knee Replacement

If you think you may need a revision knee replacement please arrange a consultation with Julian Stoddart.  You will receive a comprehensive assessment of your replaced knee to determine if this operation is right for you.

Click here to find out how to arrange an appointment.

© Goodbones Orthopaedics 2012