Joint replacement surgery can be a highly effective solution to joint pain and immobility when all other treatments stop working. However, the replacement joints can sometimes wear out and need revision surgery, which is a specialty of SportsMED Orthopedic Surgery & Spine Center. The practice locations in Huntsville, Madison, Athens, and Decatur, Alabama, have board-certified physicians with the exceptional skills and experience required to perform even the most complex joint revisions, so call the office nearest you today or use the online form to book an appointment.
Joint revision is the repair or replacement of artificial joints when they wear out or go wrong.
Joint replacement is typically highly successful, with over 90% of patients experiencing pain reduction and regaining significant function after joint replacement surgery. As a result, millions of people who have chronic knee or hip pain are able to live happier, pain-free lives.
However, over time the replacement parts that make up the artificial joint can fail or wear out. When a knee or hip replacement is no longer functioning properly, revision surgery might be necessary.
Younger, more active patients are also starting to outlive the lifespan of their replacement joints, so the need for a second joint replacement surgery is on the increase.
There are several problems you might experience with a replacement joint:
Loosening of the implant is the most common joint replacement problem. Over time, the cement or other fixatives can start to break up because of friction, loosening the bonds between your natural bone and the implant. Loosening can cause joint pain and instability.
Sometimes, particularly with a hip replacement, the new joint implant isn’t quite aligned perfectly, so it pops apart in the same way your natural joint can dislocate. Misalignment might be due to scar tissue, weak muscles, or poor patient compliance with their rehabilitation.
Infections are uncommon because of the high standards of hygiene in operating rooms and the availability of antibiotics. The risk of an infection being serious enough to warrant joint revision surgery is very low, but it does sometimes happen.
You might also experience wear or other joint problems that are likely to cause a fracture or damage that might require revision surgery.
Joint revision is a complex surgical procedure that requires extensive planning in advance of the operation. The highly skilled surgeons at SportsMED Orthopedic Surgery & Spine Center need specialized implants and equipment to perform joint revision. It also takes considerable experience to achieve a good result.
Wherever possible, your surgeon carries out joint revision surgery using arthroscopic techniques. This is a minimally invasive approach that causes less tissue damage and promotes faster healing. Sometimes, however, you might need to have traditional open surgery if you aren’t a good candidate for arthroscopy.
If you’re experiencing instability, pain, swelling, or stiffness in your replacement joint, call SportsMED Orthopedic Surgery & Spine Center today or book an appointment online.