Joint revision is a type of surgery performed on a patient who already has an existing artificial joint that was implanted during a joint replacement procedure. There are several reasons why a patient might need joint revision surgery after a joint replacement.

One of the most common reasons is that their existing implant, also referred to as a prosthesis, has reached the end of its expected lifespan, which is approximately 15 – 20 years for most artificial joints. Another reason why revision surgery might be needed is that the artificial implant from the original joint replacement procedure has become dislocated or there is an infection.

Before moving forward with joint revision surgery, the surgeon will take X-rays or perform other tests in order to better understand what is happening. The doctor will also check for scar tissue in the area and consider what surgical techniques he or she will use. The joint revision surgeon might also consult with the joint replacement doctor about the original joint replacement procedure.

If a patient has had a total joint replacement surgery, such as a knee replacement, they should always take note of any changes that might be happening. For example, although they may have had knee replacement surgery that was successful and brought pain relief when it was performed several years earlier, the knee has started to lock up. Or in another example, a patient may have had hip replacement surgery that left them nearly pain-free. However, now the artificial joint has begun to feel loose and uncomfortable.

As with the joint replacement surgery, the surgeon will provide patient education and preoperative care so the patient understands the revision procedure as well as the recovery and rehabilitation process. After revision surgery, a patient will work with a physical therapist as part of the rehabilitation process.

What Your Doctor Needs to Know

When you make an appointment with a joint revision surgeon, you’ll have an opportunity to describe your pain. Doing so can help your doctor better understand the extent of your condition. Here are some issues you may be noticing that you’ll want to share with your doctor:

  • Grinding sensation
  • Hard to get out of a chair
  • Joint beginning to lock up
  • Joint pain after a fall or another accident
  • Limping or favoring the hip or knee
  • No longer able to perform certain tasks
  • Stiffness
  • Sudden or sharp pain
  • Unsteadiness

Common Issues That May Require Joint Revision Surgery

Your surgeon may diagnose you with one of the following:

  • An accident or trauma has caused damage or a fracture, and the implant must be removed and revised
  • Dislocation
  • Implant has reached the end of its normal lifespan
  • Implant is in need of replacement earlier than expected due to significant use
  • Infection

While joint replacement and revision surgery is performed on many joints in the body, hip surgery, whether it is hip replacement surgery or revision hip surgery, is one of the most common. Another common procedure is knee replacement and later revision knee surgery. If joint revision surgery is the best option for you, our surgeons have a deep understanding of the diseases, conditions, and injuries that can affect any joint in the human body and know how to best treat them.

When you have joint pain, it can take a toll on your whole life. Our joint revision surgeons are not only medical experts, but they’re also knowledgeable professionals who want to do more than just treat your joint pain; they want to help you attain a better quality of life. To schedule an appointment, call (530) 587-7461 or request an appointment online.

Exceptional Care Begins at Tahoe Forest Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

At Tahoe Forest Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our team of dedicated orthopedic experts is here for you. As specialty-trained and knowledgeable joint revision surgeons, Dr. Jeffrey Dodd and Dr. Andrew Ringnes are backed by the latest state-of-the-art technology and have extensive experience to bring you the very best in orthopedic care. Our joint revision doctors have the surgical expertise you need to reach your goals.

If you are having an issue with an existing artificial joint, call (530) 587-7461 to schedule an appointment with one of our expert joint revision surgeons or request an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Truckee and Incline Village.