Joint Revision Surgery

Joint replacement surgery has evolved and improved significantly over time. For most patients, these surgeries are successful and the implants function well for decades. Statistics show that knee and hip implants will last 10 to 20 years for 90 percent of patients.

But the likelihood of needing to replace part or all of the original implanted parts grows as time passes. Called revision joint replacement surgery, this kind of surgery is more difficult and has a higher risk for complications than a first-time joint replacement surgery.

If you find yourself considering joint revision surgery in New Jersey, you’ll want one of the leading orthopedic surgeons in the state to evaluate your situation and perform the surgery if necessary. At RWJBarnabas Health facilities, our highly skilled, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons are experts in performing these complex procedures.

What Is Joint Revision Surgery?

Joint revision is a type of surgery that is performed on someone who already had an artificial joint implanted in a replacement procedure. In a revision procedure, part or all of the original joint implant is removed and replaced with a new one. And with people living longer than ever, joint revision is becoming more common.

The implant is replaced with modern artificial parts, usually made of a high–quality plastic, metal, or ceramic combination to create a smoothly functioning joint. Each joint replacement implant has advantages and disadvantages. Your surgeon will help you find the implant that will work best for you and explain the possible complications associated with joint revision surgery to help ensure a successful surgical outcome.

Joint Revision Surgery in New Jersey

For the best outcome, joint revision surgery requires:

  • Extensive preoperative planning
  • Specialized revision implants and tools
  • Mastery of difficult surgical techniques

It is important to have a skilled orthopedic surgeon that you trust.

If you are seeking joint revision surgery in New Jersey, consider RWJBarnabas Health. As the largest and most comprehensive healthcare system in the state, we have an award-winning medical network and highly skilled, board-certified orthopedic surgeons. Our facilities feature state-of-the-art equipment instrumental in treating joints in need of revision.

We guide patients through every stage of their joint revision journey, from preoperative preparation to at-home recovery. With investments in the latest technologies, including state-of-the-art robotic surgical systems, we are able to offer safer, less-invasive joint surgeries with faster recovery times.

Signs You May Need a Joint Revision Surgery

One of the most common reasons someone may need joint revision surgery is because their existing implant, also called a prosthesis, has reached the end of its expected lifespan. Beyond reaching the end of its normal lifespan, many issues can lead to joint revision surgery, including an accident or trauma, a metal allergy, or significant use.

When joint replacements fail, people may experience the following:

  • Infection. With current surgical techniques and antibiotic regimens, the risk ofsurgical site infection is very low, but it can also occur years later. Whenever it occurs, infection can be a devastating complication and very difficult to remove without surgery. Symptoms of an infection include pain, swelling, drainage, redness, or instability.
  • Loosening or instability. If your bone fails to attach to the prosthetic or loosens over time, your joint will feel painful, unstable, or loose. Symptoms of a loose or unstable implant include pain, a popping or clicking sound at the site of the replacement, a change in alignment, the sensation that your joint is moving in and out of its socket or “giving out” when you put weight on it or swelling in and around your replacement joint.
  • Frequent or recurring dislocation. Some dislocations are the result of trauma, like an accident, but if you frequently have dislocations after replacement surgery, you may need joint revision surgery to correct the position and size of your prosthetic components. Symptoms of dislocation include severe pain in and around your replacement joint area, inability to move the joint, or weakness in your surrounding muscles and ligaments.

Signs You May Need Joint Revision Surgery

Any issues with the joint replacement that could worsen or cause damage might ultimately require a joint revision. The joint replacement no longer working as well as it did before is one sign that it might need to be replaced. Some of the warning signs of joint replacement failure include:

  • Sudden pain in the affected joint
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Pain with weight bearing
  • Start of pain when rising from a chair or couch

If you experience any warning signs that there may be a problem with your joint replacement, you should make an appointment to be evaluated as soon as possible.

Joint Revision Surgeries Offered at RWJBarnabas Health

As the largest healthcare system in the state, RWJBarnabas Health is a leader in revision replacements and joint surgery in New Jersey.

  • Hip revision surgery. When hip replacements fail, they may need to be replaced, in whole or in part.
  • Partial and total knee revision surgery. Knee revision surgery is surgery in which part or all the implanted prosthetic parts from a previous knee replacement are replaced with newer components.
  • Partial and total shoulder revision surgery. Shoulder revision surgery involves replacing the damaged artificial ball and socket in a shoulder replacement implant with new prosthetics.

Recovering from Joint Revision Surgery

Knowing what to expect after surgery can help lead to a smoother recovery. And there can be a prolonged recovery period after joint revision surgery. Depending on the severity, you may need to spend some of your recovery time at a rehabilitation center after you leave the hospital.

The recovery process after joint revision surgery may be similar to a primary joint surgery. However, based on intraoperative findings and your specific procedure, your surgeon will establish a post-operative plan, which may include a period of inpatient rehabilitation followed by home care and physical therapy.

Joint revision is major surgery, and it may take a while for your body to adapt to the new implant. Call your doctor if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • A fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
  • Increasing redness, tenderness or swelling
  • Drainage at your incision site
  • Shaking or chills
  • Increasing pain with both activity or rest
  • Pain unrelated to your incision

If you experience shortness of breath, sudden onset of chest pain, or chest pain with coughing, call 911.

Is joint revision right for you? Make an appointment with one of our compassionate orthopedic surgeons to find out.


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