Exciting new techniques are available for treating failed or loosened total knee replacements, which can cause pain and mobility issues, reducing quality of life.

A typical TKR surgery takes three hours.

Knee revision surgery is a bit more complicated because the parts must be removed.

It’s not as simple as it may sound, and if you’re in need of knee revision surgery, it’s understandable that you may want to know what the latest advancements are.

Options for Failed Knee Replacements

“Best new advances are special metal augments which allow for bone ingrowth fixation to the implant even in cases with significant bone loss,” says Henry Boucher, MD, clinical instructor of Adult Reconstruction, Medstar Union Memorial Orthopaedics, Baltimore, MD.

“Most revision knee systems rely on stems (cemented/uncemented) and surface augments to reconstruct the knee.”

I asked if there was a such thing as resurfacing to repair a failed TKR. Dr. Boucher responds, “No such thing as resurfacing in a revision knee.”

What about partial revisions for failed TKR?

Dr. Boucher explains, “Partial revisions are possible depending on identification of the existing implant and the skills of the surgeon. Some studies show worse outcomes from partial revision, but it is still a viable and effective option depending on the situation.”

How to Tell if Your Knee Replacement Has Loosened

A bone scan is one way to tell, though two doctors viewing the same scan may disagree on whether or not the implant has loosened.

But if you’re having the following symptoms, you should suspect a loosened or failed knee replacement:

• Soreness, and especially severe pain, long after normal postop pain should have gone away.

• Signs of infection: fever, muscle aches, chills.

• Stiffness in the joint or limited range of motion.

Swelling due to excess fluid in the joint.

Dr. Boucher’s specialties are hip and knee surgery, replacement and revision, and sports medicine surgery. He has been the recipient of the Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence multiple times.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Freepik.com