Knee Revision Surgery

Knee Revision Surgery

Following knee replacement surgery, a second surgery might be required to adjust or replace the implant if it fails. This corrective surgery is called revision surgery.  In 2010, there were 67,100 knee revisions performed in the United States. Revision surgery is more complicated and difficult to perform than original (primary) surgery and usually takes about three hours. This procedure also takes more planning, and special implants and tools are required.

The implants used in revision surgery have thicker, longer stems to provide more stability and compensate for weaker ligaments and increased bone loss. Implants can fail because of a patient’s active lifestyle or because of normal wear and tear. The average life span of an implant is 15 to 20 years, which means people who receive a new knee when they are young and active will require revision surgery at some point, often sooner than 15 years. However, implants can also fail due to a faulty design that causes loosening and abnormal wear. For example, some uncemented knee implants are designed for the bone to “grow” into the space and prevent loosening. Because of poor design, the bone may not fuse properly with the implant and loosening may occur. This can cause pain and instability, and bone fractures can occur. Because knee implants are regulated under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 510(k) program, manufacturers are not required to conduct tests on them before releasing them to the public.

As a result, surgeons and patients may be unaware that a device may not work properly until it has already been implanted. A second surgery to remove a faulty implant can be costly, and the procedure for a revision surgery takes longer and has the potential for more complications. After identifying their implants as defective or faulty, many people elect to file lawsuits or claims against the manufacturers to cover the cost of surgery, the pain and discomfort of recovery, and loss of wages.

If you or a loved one has had problems after knee replacement, Contact us today for a free legal case consultation and evaluation. Joel A. Nash, Esq. (216) 691-3000