Artificial jointThough knee replacement implants are created to last for a long time, they will not last indefinitely. There are a number of factors that can cause an implant to wear out, requiring revision knee replacement surgery to replace the old implant. If your doctor has mentioned revision knee surgery, you may be left with a lot of questions. Read more to learn everything you need to know about this type of surgery.

How Long Does a Replacement Last?

The majority of knee replacements can last multiple decades or longer. In some cases, however, a knee replacement needs to be repeated after a few years or even months. On average, knee replacements last for longer than two decades, but new and emerging materials and surgical techniques can make the replacement last even longer. Only around one to two percent of patients need a revision knee replacement. Learning why the replacement has worn out is essential to ensure the revision surgery is a success.

Why May You Need Surgery?

There are a few different explanations why you may need revision surgery. Some common reasons are loose implants, unaligned part, joint infection, and knee instability. Most people who undergo this surgery approach their doctors with complaints of significant pain. Though the pain is enough to warrant revision surgery, your doctor will want to uncover exactly why you are experiencing the pain. That way, they can address the underlying issue and prevent the pain from occurring again in the future. Talk to a doctor at one of the best joint replacement programs in Jacksonville, FL, for more information about why you may need revision knee surgery.

How Do Implants Wear Out?

Knee replacements are typically created with metal caps that cover the top of the shin bone and the end of the thigh bone. Between the caps in a piece of plastic that offers a smooth surface necessary for bending the implant. The plastic piece, however, can wear out, either gradually or in one sudden failure. This piece can wear out faster if the implant was not correctly aligned, the knee is too loose, or if the patient takes part in activities that put too much stress on the implant.
Knee scar

Are Revisions More Complicated?

Yes, revision replacement surgery is often more complex the second time around. Following the first surgery, scar tissue develops, and soft tissue becomes harder to identify, making the second surgery harder. Additionally, during the first surgery, some bone is removed. During the revisions, more bone often must be removed. Ensuring there is enough bone to support the new implant can be challenging. That said, the majority of patients notice a considerable improvement in their knee following revision surgery.

Contact us at Southeast Orthopedic Specialists for more information about revision knee replacement surgery and to schedule your appointment today.

Return to Blog