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Correction of a Painful Knee Replacement

What is Knee Replacement?

Knee replacement is a surgery employed to resurface a knee joint damaged by arthritis, wear and tear, or injury and replacing the damaged joint with a prosthesis (an artificial knee joint) to resolve a painful knee condition and loss of motion.

What is Correction of a Painful Knee Replacement?

Reoperation of a total knee replacement to resolve a painful knee condition and loss of motion arising out of a damaged or worn out prosthesis is known as correction of a painful knee replacement. This procedure involves a complete or partial exchange of prostheses implanted during the original total knee replacement with new prostheses.

Knee Anatomy

The knee is made up of the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shinbone), and patella (kneecap). The lower end of the thighbone meets the upper end of the shinbone at the knee joint. A small bone called the patella (kneecap) rests on a groove on the front side of the femoral end. A bone of the lower leg (fibula) forms a joint with the shinbone. The bones are held together by protective tissues, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Synovial fluid within the joint aids in smooth movement of the bones over one another. The meniscus, a soft crescent-shaped cartilage between the femur and tibia, serves as a cushion and helps absorb shock during motion.

What are the Indications for Correction of a Painful Knee Replacement?

Some of the indications that prompt revision knee surgery includes:

  • Infection: The metal and plastic implants can be susceptible to bacterial infection causing painful joints.
  • Wear and Loosening: The friction caused by rubbing of joint surfaces against each other wears away the surface of the implant leading to bone loss and loosening of the implants.
  • Instability: Improperly placed implants may cause instability leading to a sensation of the knee “giving way” wherein soft tissue encircling the knee is found to be too weak to aid in standing or walking.
  • Fracture: Injury or fractures around the knee implant may disturb knee stability requiring revision surgery.
  • Stiffness: Knee stiffness as a result of mispositioning of the implant, excess scar tissue formation, poor motion before surgery, and other surgical complications.