Posted by: wockhardthospitals | August 10, 2009

Joint Revision Surgery : Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

With increased awareness among the urban population of India, Joint replacement surgeries are on the rise in Indian cities. Joint Replacement Surgery has greatly improved the quality of life for many patients. The surgical procedure has been extremely successful however chances are that a small percentage may fail necessitating a procedure known as joint revision. Joint revision is also done for implants or prosthesis that have reached the end of their life span or if damage occurs due to a fall or an accident or it may be even caused by the abnormal walking pattern in certain patients .

Joint Revision is a process by which existing implants or prosthesis is replaced as per requirement, the procedure involves removal of prosthesis and implanting a new prosthesis. Sometimes it may require the use of bone grafts, and metal wedges to compensate for the bone loss.

Joint revision is an extremely complex procedure that requires extensive planning and great skill on the part of the surgeon. The procedure is far more complex than primary Total Joint Replacement and costs about three times more.

* The Patient may often fall due to instability created by the worn-out or damaged joint
* Pain and stiffness around the joint
* Loss of mobility and flexibility of the joint


Post operative Infection – infection may set in after surgery particularly if the surgery was performed in a non sterile environment. Joint replacement surgery requires extremely sterile environment and many leading hospitals have dedicated Operation Theatres only for Joint replacement due to the risk of infection. Extreme caution should be taken during the surgery to avoid infection as it could lead to very disastrous situations

Loosening of the implant – During the initial joint replacement the metal or plastic implants are firmly fixed to the bone but sometimes they may come loose due to normal wear and tear or if the patients leads a very active lifestyle

Technical Failure – In rare occasions the prosthesis may fail leading to instability of the joint, dislocation may occur causing the prosthesis to pop out or move from its initial position

Damage caused due to a fall or an accident – may loosen the joints, cause a dislocation or damage the prosthesis


Together with the symptoms an X-Ray of the infected part can reveal if there is need for revision. A surgeon may conduct a standard physical examination followed by lab tests and in some cases a CT scan; a joint revision is generally done as a last resort due to its complexity and cost

What does the Doctor say?

Patients need to choose the centers for joint replacement with care as there are only a few hospitals that have the required infrastructure to perform primary total joint replacements and to deal with any complications if at all any. Since these surgeries are performed in elderly individuals and invariably they do suffer from hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, hypothyroidism and obesity. To control the medical conditions there should be a team of specialist who can handle these medical conditions. There should be ICU facilities in case it is required .blood bank should be there in the hospital for emergency needs. Physiotherapy and exercise sessions should be conducted by trained professionals. If the patient chooses good center with well trained and experienced surgeons than both the primary replacement and revision joint replacement surgery is a safe procedure with predictable results.

Joint replacement is becoming increasingly common and offers great relief to many; patients should loose their fear of going under the knife as this procedure could help them maintain the quality of life


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