With modern materials and surgical techniques, your knee or hip joint replacement is likely to last 10 to 20 years – or even your entire life. Some people do need to redo the joint replacement. Several causes can require this so-called revision surgery:
“I’ll often advise patients to proceed with caution,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Rodney Alan, MD. “If you have a well functioning implant, leave it alone – even if it has been recalled.
“It’s not like a recall on your car, where someone changes a seat belt or airbag,” says Dr. Alan. “Revision requires going back into surgery, going all the way down to the hip (or knee) through scar tissue, muscle and bone. As long as it is working well for you and you are not experiencing pain or limited mobility, don’t jump into surgery.”
DON’T RUSH, BUT DON’T DELAY – IF YOU NEED IT
While you don’t want to rush into a second joint replacement surgery, don’t delay in talking with your Orthopedic Specialist about an implant that’s not working properly or is causing you pain. A poorly performing joint replacement can cause additional wear and even damage to the surrounding bone, making eventual repair more difficult.
You may also find these articles helpful:
Sources include: McLeod Health, National Institutes of Health, Arthritis Research (UK), American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Arthritis Foundation, Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery