Revision Knee Replacement

Knee replacements are highly successful procedures, but from time to time require revision for various reasons. It could be a minor adjustment or more significant work including replacing some or even all of the parts of the original prosthesis, restoring bone, correcting malalignment or correcting knee joint instability. A revision is usually a longer and more complex procedure than the original replacement. 

There are a number of issues that may create the need for a revision, including wear of the bearing and loosening of the original implant, infection of the joint, instability of the knee, or a fracture of the bone around the replacement.

The surgery required will depend on the specific condition, and will usually take two to three hours. Although the new incision will be made in the same place as the original one, it will usually be longer in order to better access the knee joint including the prosthesis. Removing that prosthesis can involve additional bone loss requiring additional components to make up for these deficits, or in rare cases, a bone graft may even be required.

As this surgery involves a significant incision, you will have a large dressing and a drainage tube to ensure your knee doesn’t swell. This surgery requires a hospital stay of up to seven days after which you will need physical therapy or be given a set of simple exercises to help restore your range of joint motion and strength. You’ll most likely need a walker, cane or crutches for a few days or weeks until you’re comfortable enough to walk on your own. Most patients are back to light activities within three to six weeks. 

Revision Knee Replacement Fast Facts

Standard Procedure Time:2-3 hours
Standard Hospital Stay:7-10 nights
Recovery Time:6-12 weeks
Return to Light Activities:3-6 weeks
Return to Full Activities:3 months