by SportsDoc Raj
Total knee replacement (TKR) implants have proven to have a long lifetime. However, around half of prosthesis failure occurs within the first two years of the original surgery. If a repeat procedure is needed, called a revision knee replacement surgery, the procedure can be for any number of reasons including infection, mechanical failure, loosening, weight gain, and others.
The same risks involved in TKR are also present in revision knee replacement. On top of those possible risks are additional risks. A revision has a bigger chance of infection. There is also the problem of bone loss from removing the previous implants.
Things to Know About a New Knee
- The original TKR may last a lifetime. – Statistics show that 85 to 90 percent of all TKR last for at least 15 years. This percentage shows that TKR is one the most successful orthopedic operations. Since the procedure was first performed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there are still a large number of original TKR prosthesis which have not encountered any problems.
- Revision surgery is more complicated than TKR. – The main difference between TKR and revision knee replacement surgery is that the original prosthesis has to be removed first, before the new prosthesis is put into place. This necessitates more planning than a TKR. After the TKR prosthesis is removed, the shell has to be cleaned and prepared to ensure that the new replacement knee fits the leg.
- Short term TKR failure. – As mentioned above, roughly half of all TKR failures occur within two years after the operation. These can be due to infection, fracture or mechanical failure. A dislocation of the prosthesis can occur, or a fracture may occur during the operation. The prosthesis failure can also be due to lack of therapy and rehabilitation. If the TKR works properly past the first two years, then there is every reason to expect that it will work for at least 15 years.
- Reasons for long term revisions. – The reasons for long term revision knee replacement surgery have more to do with the prosthesis working for that long of a time. The body changes, while the prosthesis does not. These body changes include bone density changes, bone marrow loss, loosening of the prosthesis, chronic pain, misalignment, dislocation, or some other mechanical problem. If the problems are too much to bear, revision knee replacement surgery may be necessary.
- Importance of physical therapy. – The body needs to adjust to the new body part. This is true after TKR, and it is also true after revision knee replacement surgery. Proper rehabilitation is necessary in order to make the most of the prosthesis. Physical therapy would also ensure that correct movements are maintained and becomes a habit. This would help ensure that the patient will become able to walk properly and painlessly.