Revision Total Joint Replacement

Revision joint replacement is a surgical procedure performed in individuals who already had joint replacement surgery but had certain complications that led to failure of the previous surgery. Revision joint replacement is a more complicated surgery when compared to the initial joint replacement surgery. Joint revision surgery requires extensive pre-operative planning, specialized implants and tools, and mastery of difficult surgical techniques to accomplish good results.

Total joint replacement surgery is an option to relieve severe arthritis pain that limits your daily activities. Some replacement will last longer, while other replacement implants can fail due to various reasons and may need to be replaced. When implant failure occurs another surgery may be needed to replace the failed implant, known as revision joint replacement surgery.

Revision joint replacement means that part or all of your previous knee replacement needs to be revised. This operation varies from very minor adjustments to massive operations replacing significant amounts of bone.


Revision surgery is performed for various reasons such as

  • Persisting pain after the surgery
  • Wearing of implants or plastic lining
  • Instability
  • Loosening of the prosthesis
  • Surgical site infections
  • Weakening of bone around the replacement (osteolysis)
  • Stiffness

Risks and Complications

As with any major surgery, there are potential risks involved. Some of the complications associated with revision joint replacement include infection, dislocation, injury to blood vessels, blood clots, limb length inequality, and failure to relieve pain.


Post-surgery rehabilitation is essential to avoid further complications such as reduction in the range of motion, muscle weakness and recurrence. Physical therapy may be initiated immediately after surgery and may be continued for up to three months. Physical therapy includes uses of crutches or walker along with strengthening and mobilization exercises to regain the strength and mobility of the joint.