Total Joint Specialists
Hip and Knee Replacement in the Greater Atlanta Area
Revision joint surgery is complex and requires exceptional skills. If your replacement joint is causing you problems, the Total Joint Specialists' board-certified orthopedic surgeons have the necessary expertise to perform your procedure successfully. To find out more about revision joint surgery, contact the Total Joint Specialists' office in Midtown Atlanta, Alpharetta, Braselton, Canton, Cumming, Gainesville, Sandy Springs, Lawrenceville, or Woodstock, Georgia. Call today or request an appointment online.
Revision Joint Surgery Q&A
What is revision joint surgery?
Revision joint surgery is a procedure you might require if something happens to your original replacement joint.
A replacement hip, knee, or other joint relieves the pain and loss of function typical of severe arthritis and other conditions when there are no effective alternatives.
For most patients, hip and knee replacements last a long time, often up to 15-20 years, and cause no problems. They do wear out eventually, though, so if you have joint replacement surgery when you're young or middle-aged, you might go through several joints over your lifetime.
Unfortunately, some patients experience problems with their artificial joints before they would normally wear out. If this happens to you, the surgeons at the Total Joint Specialists can perform revision joint surgery.
What are the reasons for needing revision joint surgery?
The main reasons for needing revision joint surgery are:
Implants can loosen over time. This loosening is one of the primary reasons for revision surgery. Both press-fit implants and cemented implants demonstrate excellent longevity. The press-fit implants rely on bone growth into the small pores of the metal implant to seal them in place. Cemented implants effectively interlock the implant into the pores of the bone. Both of these can loosen over time due to micromotion resulting in a joint that begins to become more painful. This can sometimes require further surgery to implant a new device that bonds to your bone.
Infection is a risk with all types of surgical procedures. When you have joint replacement surgery, an infection rarely occurs within the first 2-3 weeks of surgery. Sometimes, infections don’t set in until years after the original surgery. These are also rare.
Bacterial infections in a joint after replacement surgery can be extremely painful and can cause significant illness. The implant could come loose, or the joint might become unstable, making it difficult to walk. Joint infections almost always require revision surgery and extended use of antibiotics to clear the infection.
Fractures and dislocations
Like real bones, replacements can be damaged or even dislocate. Hip replacements may be unstable from the original surgery or become unstable over time. Recurrent instability may require a revision to correct malalignments or hips that have become unstable from a traumatic event or wear over time. Traumatic events that cause the bones around an implant to fracture also may need to be surgically corrected through revision surgery.
What does revision joint surgery involve?
The work your surgeon needs to do when performing revision joint surgery depends on what’s causing your problem. They might have to replace all the parts of your joint or just some. Bone damage in the joint could require repair using metal augments or bone grafts. These types of operations are best handled by specialists whose primary focus is joint replacement.
If you’re having problems with a replacement joint, call the Total Joint Specialists today or request an appointment online.