Knee replacement surgery can be a life-changing procedure for people suffering from chronic knee pain and reduced mobility. However, sometimes, knee replacements can fail or become damaged over time, which may then require revision surgery. Knee replacement revision surgery is a complex procedure with a higher risk of complications and extended recovery time compared with knee replacement surgery. Before considering knee replacement revision surgery,you should explore your non-surgical options.
Knee replacement surgery is a highly successful procedure, and for most patients, the replacement can last for 15-20 years. However, overtime,implants can become damaged, infected, or loosen from the underlying bone as a result of many factors, such as high impact activities, excessive wear and tear, or from carrying excessive body weight. This can cause knee pain, swelling, stiffness, and instability.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options to Consider
There are a range of treatment options to consider before undergoing revision knee replacement, depending on different aspects such as your age, health, severity of symptoms, lifestyle, and personal preferences.
These options include:
Physical therapy is an excellent non-surgical option for individuals experiencing knee pain. Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles around the knee joint and improve mobility. It also helps reduce inflammation, which can relieve pain and discomfort. Your physical therapist will develop a customized treatment and exercise plan that suits your individual needs to reduce pain and gradually progress you toward improved strength and stability in the knee. Your physical therapist may also recommend low impact exercise, such as swimming, to help strengthen the knee.
Being overweight puts additional pressure on the knees, which can exacerbate knee pain and put added force on a knee replacement. Therefore, losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise can help reduce symptoms and may delay the need for knee replacement revision surgery. Weight loss can also help improve overall health and mobility.
Knee braces or supports can help redistribute the pressure on the knee joint and provide additional support, which can alleviate pain and may help delay the need for revision surgery. Different types of braces are available, including unloader, prophylactic, and rehabilitative braces. It is best to consult with your doctor or physical therapist to determine the best brace for your individual situation.
For issues such as knee replacement infections, surgery may be necessary to prevent complications. A debridement is a minimally invasive procedure that may be recommended as an alternative to revision surgery if the implant is in good condition and still firmly attached to the bone. The arthroscopic procedure involves washing out the bacteria in the joint and exchanging the plastic spacer between the two metal joint components for an antibiotic spacer. This allows the artificial knee implants to be left in place.
When Is Knee Replacement Revision Surgery Necessary?
For a knee replacement to function properly, the joint implant must stay firmly attached to the bone. During the initial knee replacement surgery, the artificial joint is either fixed into position with cement or the bone will naturally fuse into the surface of the implant to fix it and keep itin place. In some cases, however, the implant can loosen from the underlying bone, causing the knee to become painful and unstable.
Younger patients that undergo knee replacement surgery can also “outlive” the life expectancy of their artificial knee, meaning there is a greater long-term risk that revision surgery will be necessary.
Very small particles can sometimes come off the plastic spacer due to natural wear and tear and accumulate around the joint, which are then attacked by the body’s immune system. This immune response can also affect the healthy bone surrounding the implant, causing it to deteriorate, a condition called osteolysis. This can make the implant loose or unstable.
When a knee replacement fails, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend a second surgery to remove some or all of the components of the original prosthesis and replace them with new parts. This procedure is known as knee replacement revision surgery. Revision surgery is a major surgery that requires a great deal of planning and specialized implants and equipment to achieve successful outcomes. Therefore, exploring nonsurgical and less invasive treatment options before considering revision knee replacement may be beneficial.
If you had a total knee replacement and are experiencing persistent knee pain or instability, visit your orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible for further investigation and treatment. Delaying treatment may lead to more serious complications, such as infection. Depending on the outcome, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend exploring non-surgical options before undergoing revision knee replacement to help alleviate knee pain, improve mobility, and delay the need for surgery.
Knee Replacement Revision Specialist Near Me in Boynton Beach, FL
If you are experiencing excessive pain after a knee replacement, contact Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches. Our orthopedic specialists offer high quality, personalized care to treat your condition effectively.
We provide a range of cutting-edge non-surgical and surgical treatments for knee problems, including physical therapy, stem cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, arthroscopic surgery, total knee replacement surgery, and knee replacement revision surgery.