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Joint Revision Surgery


Hip and knee replacement can greatly increase mobility, improving the function of the knee or hip joint, and relieve pain. Once a patient has a total hip or knee replacement performed, the new prosthetic joint can last anywhere from 20-30 years depending on many factors including activity level, weight, implant properties and position.

As with all things used regularly, wear and tear can affect function and may need repair. Sometimes the replaced joint may develop mechanical or biological problems that will require a second surgery called a Joint Revision Surgery. Revision Surgery may include removing and replacing the old joint replacement entirely, or exchanging some components.

There are several reasons why you may need a revision:

  1. Infection  
  2. Loosening 
  3. Instability 
  4. Polyethylene wear 
  5. Fracture/broken bone
  6. Stiffness
  7. Repetitive hip dislocation

After Your Surgery

You may have some pain after your surgery which we’ll help you manage with medication. 

Our goal is to get you up and walking as soon as possible so you can get back to your daily activities, so we’ll give you exercises to strengthen your muscles and help with range of motion. Physical therapy is very important in your recovery process.

All surgeries have risks and our orthopedic team will ensure that we are taking measures to prevent blood clots and infection. 

Recovering From Your Surgery

You will likely need assistance to perform activities of daily living for several days after you get home. Before you leave the hospital, you will be given written instructions concerning medications, incision care, physical/occupational therapy, activities, home equipment, home health services, contact phone numbers, when to follow up with your surgeon, etc.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Revision Surgery

You want to be well informed before making your decision about your surgery.  Here are some questions so you understand all your options and what you can expect from your procedure. 

Here are some questions to get you started:*

  • Why is revision surgery needed?
  • Would losing weight or physical therapy alone help my condition?
  • Can physical therapy alone help my condition?
  • What is the success rate of surgery?
  • What can I expect after my surgery? Will my mobility be improved?
  • Will the surgery get me out of pain?
  • What will my recovery time be?
  • What activities can I do? What should I avoid doing?

Recovery time after surgery depends upon the person and varies widely depending on age, activity level, weight. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about when it is safe to resume activities.

Take the Next Step

Our trusted orthopedic doctors at Dignity Health offer complete care to treat your symptoms and get you back on your feet in no time. For a physician referral,  use our Find a Doctor tool or call (916) 851-2511

*This list of questions is an excerpt from