Mr Matthew Gee MBBS, BSC, MSC, FRCS (Tr&Orth) Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Revision Knee Replacement

Revision knee replacement surgery is performed when an artificial knee needs to be replaced with a newer prosthetic. Knee implants are expected to last for around 20 years, but revision surgery is sometimes needed earlier than this if the artificial joint becomes infected, worn or loose.

Who Should Consider a Revision Knee Replacement?

You may need to have revision knee replacement surgery if your knee implant becomes worn, loosened or infected. Changes or injuries to the ligaments around the knee can also necessitate a new implant as they can alter the structure and stability of the joint. Although prosthetic knees are designed to last for many years, revision surgery is sometimes needed sooner than expected if there is a problem with the implant. Signs that your artificial knee might need to be replaced can include pain, swelling, stiffness or instability in the joint.

The Procedure

The procedure for revision knee replacement surgery is very similar to the original knee replacement surgery. However, fitting a replacement knee implant can be more complicated as there may be damage to the bones where the older implants were attached. The operation will usually take longer too. The surgeon will begin by making an incision to the front of the knee. The old implant will then be carefully removed. The surgeon may need to reconstruct some of the bone before the new implant can be put in place. Sometimes the whole knee implant needs to be replaced, but in other cases it may only be necessary to change part of the implant. Once the new artificial knee has been attached, the surgical incision can be stitched up and you will be taken to the recovery ward. Once you are ready to move, the doctor will recommend some exercises to help you to recover your mobility.

Risks and Benefits

Revision knee replacement can ensure that you remain as active as possible after having a prosthetic knee fitted, but there are risks involved with the surgery as well as benefits:

  • Surgery carries a small risk of infection, bleeding, blood clots, nerve damage and other complications such as stiffness. The risk of complications during a revision procedure are usually greater than for a primary procedure. Your surgeon will ensure that you understand these before the procedure.
  • The recovery following revision surgery is usually longer than for a primary knee replacement.
  • The long-term outcome for revision surgery is similar to that of primary surgery, in that relief from pain, and increased knee function and stability are likely results. However, after revision surgery some people still have some minor pain or stiffness.

If you are experiencing problems with your knee implant or you want to discuss revision knee replacement with an orthopaedic surgeon, get in touch to make an appointment at a time that is convenient for you.


Make An Enquiry

Visiting Hospitals & Availability

Professional Healthcare Websites