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Revision Hip Replacement and Revision Knee Replacement

Sometimes a hip or knee replacement will fail and require re-do surgery to relieve pain and restore function. That is called a revision. In general, a revision hip or knee replacement is a bigger operation than the original (called primary) replacement. A more extensive and heavy duty prosthesis is often required. The rehabilitation would often be a bit slower and you might stay in hospital longer than for a normal hip or knee replacement.

There are often quite a lot of tests required to work out exactly what has gone wrong with the first operation and a careful plan is then necessary to fix it.

The results of revision surgery are usually not as good as the results of a successful primary replacement. But, if you have a failed joint replacement, it can cause severe pain and serious disability so a revision may well be the way to go.

Most of the things that can go wrong with primary joint replacement surgery can also occur in revision surgery and these complications are more common.

For example, in hip revision the problems of dislocation, limp, nerve injury and leg length difference are all more common that in primary hip replacement. In knee revision surgery complications like wound problems, stiffness, giving out and nerve or blood vessel injuries are more common than in primary knee replacement surgery.

In both knee and hip revision surgery the infection rate is higher than for normal hip and knee replacements. It is also important to be careful with the bone as it can be more fragile the second or third time around.

You can see that revision surgery is not something to rush into without properly going through the risks and benefits. The surgery can’t be rushed either.

Dr Martin has expertise in the assessment of failed joint replacements, as well as the planning and careful surgical techniques required for successful revision surgery. A great operating theatre team is also crucial for good results. Where appropriate Dr Martin is able to undertake revision hip surgery via an anterior approach.