A joint replacement – whether conventional or customised – will normally last 15-20 years if it is cared for correctly.
Eventually, however, the joint will start to fail and wear out. It may become loose. When this happens your joint can become painful and swollen and may start to feel stiff or unstable. You may be offered revision joint replacement surgery, which involves removing some or all of the original implant and replacing it.
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Why do I need revision replacement surgery?
Over time, hip or knee replacement implants can wear and fail. This may be due to lifestyle factors, such as your weight or involvement in high impact activities, or it may simply due to the fact that implants have a maximum lifespan of 15-20 years. When an implant starts to fail it can become loose and cause pain, instability and loss of movement. Revision replacement surgery can reduce or alleviate these symptoms.
How long does the operation take?
Revision replacement surgery normally takes three to six hours. The surgeon may follow the incisions made when you had the original replacement surgery although they may be longer to enable all of the old components to be removed. The original implant will be removed very carefully to preserve as much bone as possible. Cement that was used to fix the implant in place will be removed. Bone surfaces will be prepared for the new implant, which may entail adding metal plates and platforms to compensate for any bone loss.
Will I experience complete relief from pain after surgery?
Not in every case. If it is not entirely alleviated, your pain levels should improve significantly.
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