Revision Knee Replacement
Knee revision surgery is a procedure that is performed when an initial knee replacement no longer functions as intended. During the procedure, the previous knee prosthetic implant is replaced with a new one with the goal of restoring function to the knee and alleviating any pain and instability.
The procedure is done by attaching a metal or plastic prosthetic capped at the ends of the bones that join the knee, hence allowing them to move against each other. The knee revision can either be a total replacement where the prosthesis is completely replaced or partially done by replacing only one implant.
Normally, a total knee replacement is meant to last for many years. In most cases, a knee revision surgery is performed on younger patients to clean the surface of the bone and reattach the initial prosthesis or replace it with a new one.
Causes and Risk Factors that May Lead to Knee Revision Surgery
A knee revision surgery is recommended when the total knee replacement pauses the following risks:
Infection may occur soon after the total knee replacement surgery or years later. This could be as a result of several factors including bacteria around the prosthesis or wound. The joint infected may swell or have fluid leakage.
An aspiration procedure is carried out to remove the fluid around the prosthesis. The fluid taken out of the wound is then examined in the lab to analyze the type of infection and determine if the revision is the most appropriate procedure to be taken.
Wear and tear
Over time the prosthesis can wear off tiny particles thus breaking or loosening the connection between the implant and the bone.
A failure of the implant known as ASEPTIC LOOSENING cause’s pain and instability because the bond between the prosthetic and the bone tends to disintegrate as the body absorbs the particles in a process known as OSTEOLYSIS attacking the healthy bone. This fracture weakens the bones as a result of mechanical loss of fixation over a period of time or improper installation of the total replacement.
A knee implant that was not balanced or became injured during or after the knee replacement surgery is likely to cause pain, loosen or become unstable. This injury or imbalance causes the soft tissues to not function as intended, thus the instability.
Diagnosis for a Knee Revision Surgery
During your consultation with the orthopedic surgeon, an evaluation will be done on the knee replacement complications, so as to identify if the revision knee surgery is the best option. Physical examination along with imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI and the prior details of the surgery will also be evaluated.
Pain and discomfort in the leg below the knee or in the thigh area may indicate that the metal prosthesis attached to thigh bone or shin bone has loosened. If the pain is in the whole knee, it may be a sign of the prosthesis having loosened or the joint being infected.
The aim of a knee revision surgery is mainly to minimize pain and resume the functionality of the knee. The revision is however more detailed and complex than the total knee replacement and takes a longer time to perform the procedure.
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