Although primary total knee replacement surgery offers good results for patients, it is likely that after 15-20 years a revision knee replacement surgery will be required. There are various reasons why a knee replacement needs to be revised by the Orthopaedic Surgeon: infection, wear of plastic component, aseptic loosening and instability are some of them.
After determining with x-rays and bone scans whether a revision surgery is needed, the surgeon will undertake the procedure. It is a more complex procedure than the primary total knee replacement. The surgery involves removing of the old knee replacement components and implanting new ones. The failure of primary knee and surgery can cause loss of bone substance. If the revision is due to an infection, the surgeon will usually have to do it in two stages; taking out the previous components and inserting some bone cement with antibiotics in the knee. After 6 to 8 weeks in second stage, if there is no more infection, the surgeon will remove the bone cement and place the new knee implants. If there was no infection the whole procedure can be done in 1 stage. This procedure can be done with help of computer navigation to align the limb properly.